MANILA, Philippines – Nearly a week after being replaced as head coach of the Adamson University women's volleyball team, Air Padda on Thursday broke her silence in an emotional Instagram post.
The American coach expressed her gratitude to the Adamson community, and stressed that she was honored to have served as the mentor of the Lady Falcons for the past two seasons.
"Thank you Akari for believing in me and giving me an opportunity to work in the volleyball community in the Philippines. It seriously has been the best experience so far. You’ve always believed in me and my vision from day 1, reminding me that we are in this together," she said.
"And to my team, my players, my pamilya... Thank you for changing my life. Thank you for making me a better coach and mentor, and a better person in general," she added.
"You’ve challenged me to push myself to be stronger and reach higher. I hope that I have had a positive impact on your lives and that you can take something away from what I’ve taught you."
Padda was tasked to oversee Adamson's program from Season 79, when she took over a rebuilding team. They managed just one win that year, but entered Season 80 with high expectations, thanks to a loaded roster that included Jema Galanza, Mylene Paat, and Fen Emnas – three veterans who were expected to lead the squad to the Final 4.
Unfortunately, they underperformed and ended up missing the semifinals. When the Lady Falcons dropped their first three games of Season 81, Padda was replaced as head coach by Onyok Getigan.
According to the statement released by Adamson, Padda would still stay on as the team's conditioning coach.
Padda, however, made no mention of the new position in her post, instead saying that she "will be cheering you on from afar."
"I will forever cherish every single moment I had as your head coach. It’s been a privilege coaching you guys these past 2 years. I’ve learned as much from you as well. Sobrang proud of you," she said of the Lady Falcons.
Adamson won its first game without Padda, sweeping National University last Sunday.
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