UAAP: Adamson coach gives Almonte passing marks in stint as libero

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 26 2022 06:02 PM | Updated as of Jun 02 2022 04:15 PM

UAAP Media.
Lucille Almonte (9) played as Adamson's libero against UST. UAAP Media.

MANILA, Philippines -- Adamson University head coach Lerma Giron pulled a surprise move on Thursday as she fielded Lucille Almonte as their libero against the University of Santo Tomas (UST).

Almonte played as a wing spiker for the Lady Falcons in the first round of the UAAP Season 84 women's volleyball tournament, compiling 70 points on 63 kills and seven aces. But Giron decided on "something new" to start the second round, as she continues to look for ways to solve the Lady Falcons' issues in reception.

"We know na lack kami sa passing eh," Giron said. "Maayos 'yung passing niya, so kumbaga, ginawan naming ng paraan. Tinry namin kung anong pwedeng remedyo sa passing namin."

The Lady Falcons are in the thick of the Final 4 picture, having compiled a 4-3 record at the end of the first round. But they struggle with their first ball, ranking sixth in receiving with a 29.63% efficiency.

Giron has already used several players in the libero position, starting with Hannah Infante before trying Rochelle Lalongisip in the role. Princess Balang has also been tried at the spot. Among Adamson's players, it is open hitter Trisha Genesis who ranks as their best receiver, with a 32.67% efficiency.

"Tiningnan namin kung magwo-work," Giron said of their latest move to try Almonte in the libero role. "Ang daming mamamalo eh. Sayang naman kung nasa labas 'yung magaling na mamamalo. So ginawa namin, lahat ng best pinasok namin. Tiningnan namin kung magwo-work out."

The Lady Falcons couldn't quite get the job done against UST, as they squandered a two-set advantage and lost in five sets. 

"Sayang," Giron said. "I know we can win that game, kaso hindi pa talaga ganoon ka-mature 'yung team eh. Maraming lapses na dapat pang i-work out, especially 'yung mga wing spikers."

As far as Almonte is concerned, however, Giron said she is satisfied with her performance in her new role.

"I'm satisfied naman," said the coach, as Almonte was credited with 14 excellent receptions in the match. "May mga pagkakataon na bumibigay, pero so far, all in all, nakita naman natin na gumana ng maayos 'yung mga middle natin dahil sa mga pasa."

This doesn't mean that Almonte is the solution to their woes in reception. Giron would not confirm if she will be the libero in their next game, responding "Surprise," when asked about their upcoming match against University of the East on Saturday.

"Tingnan namin kung ano pang pwedeng gawing remedyo," she explained. "Pero so far naman, satisfied ako kay Lucille. Pero siyempre, may kailangan pa rin i-adjust."

The loss to UST dropped Adamson to 4-4 in the tournament, putting them in a share of fourth place with the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons.