UAAP: With new coach Monteclaro, Lady Falcons are trusting the process

Levi Joshua Verora Jr.

Posted at Mar 26 2023 11:21 PM

The Adamson Lady Falcons with new head coach Ryan Monteclaro. Handout photo
The Adamson Lady Falcons with new head coach Ryan Monteclaro. Handout photo

MANILA – Head coach Ryan Monteclaro gathered the Adamson University women’s basketball team near the entrance booth of the NBA 3X Philippines setup inside Mall of Asia, brought out his whiteboard, and drew plays for his Lady Falcons to remember.

When the huddle concluded, Monteclaro reminded the girls to showcase what they can do. Always keeping a positive approach in motivating his players, the new mentor of the Lady Falcons is laying the groundwork as early as now to make his squad and himself better from within.

Monteclaro did not have any expectations for the Lady Falcons when they joined the NBA 3X Philippines girls event, but three entrants in the open division made the Top 12, with the Team-A roster having a semifinal finish. 

In the U19 category, a high school-laden Adamson side also placed second.

“The reason why we made the team join is for them to have tournaments, because we’re lacking games. We want them to be exposed and I want them to see their capabilities,” Monteclaro, who played for the Adamson men’s squad from 2010 to 2014, said.

“I’ve seen a lot of their games but videos lang mostly, so we really wanted to see the tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses, to identify what we need to work on.”

The San Marcelino side’s impressive showing in last weekend’s tournament is a significant sign about how Monteclaro is taking his eventual UAAP coaching debut seriously moving forward.

While not expecting to land blue-chip talents soon, Monteclaro is taking an organic approach in trying to make the entire Lady Falcons roster more competitive and for players to showcase what they can.

“We know there is a transition. We’re not rebuilding; we’re just trying to get better. For us, it’s just trying to get better,” he shared.

“Even if we aren’t able to find recruits that can give impact, we will stick with what we have. As the days go by, months of preparation, hopefully makahanap kami ng game-changers.”

Adamson finished with a 5-9 record in Season 85, falling just two wins short of at least forcing a playoff game for a Final Four slot. Being in the upper half of the women’s basketball competition isn’t a distant goal, and the next months are crucial to gauge how much the Lady Falcons are nearing the form they want.

“It’s about improving the program itself and trying to get as much as possible kung ano ‘yung kayang ma-achieve,” Monteclaro continued.

“They were sixth last season, hopefully, better than that, then we’ll see. The plan has to be long-term for us.”

A point guard during his collegiate days, Monteclaro was famously coached by former San Miguel Beermen tactician Leo Austria. He credits Eric Altamirano, who has long been involved in the 3x3 and grassroots basketball circles, as far as his coaching pedigree is concerned.

The 5-foot-7 backcourt general established his name in the 3x3 scene with stints for the Chooks-to-Go circuit, Vietnam, and the PBA 3x3 tourneys. He currently coaches the J&T Express club.

When it comes to his coaching resume, Monteclaro is also working double-time to keep up with his colleagues, joining seminars and absorbing knowledge from observing.

“Ang dami kong gusto gawin. I’m still learning, observing, and scouting the top teams, not only them but all the teams, just to see what they’re doing,” he said. “Lahat the teams, I’m trying to learn from them para alam ko what kind of system I can implement.”

The first-year coach is inheriting an intact lineup from then interim coach Brian Grospe. Just 31 years of age, each day for Monteclaro is a shared learning experience as he and his Lady Falcons learn to embrace progress.

“We started building the chemistry. We try to get to know the team more. Skills wise, doon kami nagfo-focus for now. You know, the offseason is the best time to improve their individual skills, as well as ‘yung i-implement naming system.”

UAAP Season 85 is streaming on iWantTFC every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, available for Premium users outside the Philippines.