Padda’s lessons go beyond volleyball court for graduating Lady Falcons
The graduating Lady Falcons from Adamson University not only left a coach, but also a life mentor.
Jema Galanza, Mylene Paat, Jellie Tempiatura, and Fhen Emnas donned the navy-and-white jerseys of Adamson for the final time on Saturday at Blue Eagle Gym and joining them in their departure are the lessons head coach Air Padda had taught them.
Padda has been with Adamson for just two years but the American head coach has left an imprint that her players won’t ever forget.
For Galanza, playing under the tutelage of Padda meant she got unwavering support and a familial bond that didn’t break even though she got sidelined with an injury during the few months before the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament began.
“She’s always given me so much trust even though I became quite rebellious but she was always there for me and I never saw her gave up on me,” said Galanza in Filipino.
Galanza had 12 points in her UAAP farewell in Adamson’s sweep of University of Santo Tomas, 25-6, 25-23, 25-23, as the Lady Falcons settled for the fifth seed with a 6-8 record.
“She’s the coach whom you can open your personal problems to and she was there for me when I was injured and she never made me feel that I was out of the team during that time.”
Paat, who sat out the year Padda first coached Adamson, made a longing bond with her head coach that she masterminded the “Wakanda Forever” celebration the Lady Falcons use in reference to the Black Panther movie.
“Coach Air pushed me really hard that you won’t have any choice but to follow her orders and stick to her system,” said Paat, who had 13 points in her final UAAP game, in Filipino. “She made me a better person and a better player in and out of the floor.”
Paat used her time off from Adamson to play with Cignal in the Philippine Super Liga but she made it a point to return as a Lady Falcon in her fifth UAAP year to play under Padda.
“Even though I played in the club league, when I returned to Adamson I was still a crybaby, but coach Air inspired me because she was such a strong figure and she can fight whatever fight.”
Tempiatura, who had to take a backseat to Tonnie Rose Ponce throughout the season, had her moment in the sun for the Lady Falcons in their last game when Padda made her the primary libero.
And the graduating defensive anchor made sure to thank Padda for not only making her a more confident woman but also showing to the UAAP community what girl power is about.
“The lessons she taught me won’t just stay here in the UAAP, but in my whole life as well,” said Tempiatura in Filipino. “She changed me because I was shy and quiet before, but coach Air taught me to be more vocal.”
“Coach Air also taught me to fight for what we have because sometimes our coaching staff, who are all females, are belittled but she taught me to be proud of it,” added Tempiatura.
Emnas, who also skipped Season 79, said Padda became her greatest motivator not only inside the volleyball court but also outside of it.
“Coach Air has a different way of motivating you not only in the game but also in real life,” said Emnas, who had 24 excellent sets in her final UAAP game. “She molded me to become a better person to the point that she even appears in my dreams.”
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