The 79th Season of the UAAP was supposed to be different for the Lady Warriors.
Perhaps it is also fitting that the same Lady Falcons squad ended their Season 79 campaign with disappointment and more questions than when they had started.
For much of the season, the Lady Warriors had surprised even the strongest of teams. Coach Francis Vicente risked using unproven players with height in his starting six. The Lady Warriors turned into a monstrous blocking squad, even leading the league in the category for much of the first round.
Still, UE managed just one win in their first 13 games, beating the rebuilding Lady Falcons in their final first-round outing.
“Nakikita mo na ‘yung potential sa kanila. Nandoon na. Mananalo kami nang isang set tapos didikit kami on some of the sets. But we could never find that finishing touch. I’m hoping to get that from them,” Vicente said right before their season-ender against Adamson. He was looking for wins in the standings, and not just for their morale.
“More than [morale victory] na ang hinahanap namin. They can show more than that.”
Instead of getting their second win, UE lost their 13th match in disappointing fashion to a then-winless Lady Falcons.
Unlike past matches, there was no silver lining or aura of optimism with UE. They had missed an opportunity.
The Lady Warriors now face an uncertain future. Vicente, the head coach of the Women’s National Team, has yet to confirm his return for Season 80. There is even talk of skipper Shaya Adorador not returning for her fifth and final year of eligibility.
“We hope to have everything resolved where we could have everyone back for next season. Despite the ending to Season 79, alam namin na mas maganda ang potential nila for Season 80,” a source within UE told Tiebreaker Times.
UE have always been looking towards their future; they have never had a choice. With everything that has happened, it’s a wonder when the future will finally become the present for the Lady Warriors.