After halting four-game losing streak, Airess Padda sees better days for Motolite

After four heartbreaking defeats, Motolite finally electrified the tournament with a win. Head coach Airess Padda hopes this victory would start a comeback long overdue.

Motolite clinched their first win after making quick work of the Balipure Water Defenders in straight sets, 25-16, 25-21, 25-18, earlier in the 2019 PVL Reinforced Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center.

Motolite came out strong from the get-go, firing from all ends with various players registering their names in the scoreboard.

Guest player Channon Thompson wreaked havoc for Motolite anew, spearheading the charge for her team with 20 points.

Motolite took all three sets in dominant fashion, with the team showing character in the second set as they came back from a 14-19 deficit to take over the Water Defenders.

Head coach Airess Padda felt proud of her team for taking the win amid a jampacked tournament schedule, with her players having to play back-to-back games on the weekend and having little to no rest at all.

“We just wanted to end this round on a really positive note. It’s been a really tough week for us–it’s only been one week, or eight days, but it feels like a month. I feel like we just played a month of games–it’s emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally draining,” Padda said.

For the head coach, their win over the Water Defenders earlier proved to be rewarding after their struggles not just with the schedule but also the composition of the team, with Myla Pablo still not seeing action and their reinforcements only finalized with the entry of Krystel Esdelle.

“This one is extra special because we’ve had five games this week and it’s been really tough to try to recover; it’s been tough having our imports being switched in and out. To come out with a win to end the first round and end this week, it’s a blessing,” Padda said.

 

“Now, tomorrow, they can just take the rest that they need–they don’t even need to think about volleyball tomorrow. At least we still have five more days before we play Army on Sunday,” the head coach added.

The young Motolite team struggled in the first part of the tournament, dropping their first four assignments to teams filled with superstars and experienced players.

With most of their players fresh off competing from the collegiate ranks, Padda said it took a while for her players to adjust to the professional level.

However, the fast pace of the tournament made it possible for the team to gain more experience and play better as the games go by.

“I feel like our first game against Army, it was like a welcome to the PVL–especially to the college players, welcome to the pros. They just kind of had a rude awakening,” Padda said.

 

“We still have a chance to make it into the Final Four. Every team is beatable, and I think we got better each game. I’m excited, because we’ve had more experience than we did eight days ago, so we just need to keep building on it,” she added.

Their win earlier also proved to be a sweet one for Padda, who had her coaching career halted when she left the Adamson Lady Falcons after a three-game losing streak in the UAAP.

“It’s been really challenging and I expected to get a win before I did today, so it kind of mentally took me back to the UAAP days. But I’m trying to stay positive and not think about what I did and did not accomplish in the past and just try to focus on what I’m aspiring to do here, and I hope the monkey’s off my back,” Padda said.

Despite only getting their first win in the tournament, the head coach goes into the second round with a positive mindset, knowing her players should have fully adjusted into the tournament already.

After stopping their four-game losing streak in the conference, Padda remains optimistic that Motolite would achieve their goal of breaking into the Final Four in their debut.

“The future’s bright for us, and we’re not going to have any excuses this time. It’s like, how many times are we going to think about how young we are? You’re not as young as you are last week–in one week, you graduated a whole month,” Padda said.

 

“We just need to stay focused–we know each team now, we have a better understanding of our players, we have the time to prepare this week. If we do better in the second round, we have a really great chance of getting into the Final Four,” she ended.

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