Former King Falcon comes home to the Nest as WBT coach

Date Posted: February 27, 2023 at 11:59 AM

A former Adamson star is back with the University to lead a new breed of Lady Falcons in their flight to UAAP basketball supremacy. 

Ryan Monteclaro, who played for the Soaring Falcons from Season 73 to 77, will take the helm as head coach of the Women's Basketball team, he confirmed in an interview with Adamson News last February 23. 

Monteclaro, who now coaches the J&T Express team in the Philippine Basketball Association's (PBA) 3x3 competition, expressed his gratitude and excitement for the opportunity to give back to his Alma mater and impart his experience to up-and-coming Lady Falcons stalwarts. 

"I am happy and excited to be back in Adamson. This is a great opportunity and a privilege to work for Adamson. There is no guarantee, but we will surely work for it," he said.  

The youthful mentor then explained how he ended up filling the position held last year in an interim status by coach Brian Gorospe in UAAP 85. 

Under Gorospe, the Lady Falcons finished sixth place with a 5-9 card. 

"It was Fr. Gregg's [Banaga] despedida party when Boss Gilbert Cruz and Boss [Ibrahim] Bong Nuño, as well as other sponsors and alumni present, talked to me if I could help with the Women's [Basketball] team. Since my schedule permitted me to do so, and it was for Adamson anyway, I said yes," he explained. 

He then furthered that after some time, AdU Director for the Office for Athletic Development and UAAP 85 President Fr. Aldrin Suan, CM, called him and offered him the Women's Basketball team coaching position. 

A discussion with the University's principal backers closed his selection as the new Lady Falcons' head tactician. 

"For me, it has come full circle. When they asked me [if I am] ready to coach Adamson, sabi ko I'm always ready to coach [AdU]. Ever since my [playing years, loyal ako sa Adamson," he said. 

Coaching Adjustments 

Asked about his team in PBA 3x3, Monteclaro reiterated his commitment to the Lady Falcons despite leading the bench crew of J&T Express. 

“For now kasi, patapos [‘yung contract ko sa J&T] and the [season will potentially start] in June. So, in terms of my 3x3 team, hindi naman ganon ka-hectic, so my focus will be on Adamson.” 

He further added that he plans to instill in the Women's Basketball team the experiences he had from coaching in the 3x3 league and develop a culture that revolves around a system and discipline.  

Th 31-year-old Monteclaro has played in the 3x3 circuit since 2019 and was even recognized as one of the better ballers locally, representing the Philippines in different competitions before eventually landing in the PBA in 2021. 

"In terms of running a system, especially playing against top teams and high-caliber players, talent alone will not win you championships. You have to have that system and figure out what is best for the team and each player," he said. "It's crucial to ensure discipline [in each player] since it would already translate to the team." 

He also pointed out that the team's offense cannot come solely from one or two stars. 

Monteclaro mentioned that he aims for a more spread-out offensive scheme – a plan he argued that, if followed, would produce more efficiency for the San Marcelino-based team. 

"Realistically, we can't beat the good teams if only one or two guys are working. It has to be a total team effort like the men's team and what coach Mike [Fermin] is doing in the juniors' program," he said. 

“Sa ngayon naman, nothing much will change since ang ganda na rin ng program na nalatag nila Coach Ewon [Arayi] before.” 

A few months before his first collegiate coaching stint, the former Soaring Falcon admitted that he couldn't wait to rub shoulders with Men's Basketball team coach Nash Racela and Fermin, who he played for back in UAAP 77. 

"It is a privilege to [be with] Coach Nash and Coach Mike and to learn from them," he furthered. 

Mentor and role model 

Being a former Adamsonian student-athlete, Monteclaro said he is to take mentorship of his team slowly and mold it more of his men's team counterpart, Nash Racela. 

With this idea, the Financial Management and Hospitality Management alum will put a pedigree on his players' prioritization of their academics. 

"At the end of the day, and to be realistic, there are not a lot of professional leagues for Women's Basketball, so unless magkaroon, the bottom line is that [student-athletes] prioritize their studies since may diploma ka and part din ng eligibility." 

He also revealed that he wants to continue fostering and advancing discipline and loyalty to AdU for his wards. 

"If you graduate from a good culture, winning will follow. Kasi, on the women's side, you also must be more sensitive, especially iba ang approach. Luckily, I got to coach a women's team back in Vietnam," the Butuan native shared. 

Monteclaro played for the 3x3 team Saigon Aces in 2019 and served as technical director of its Sports Academy. 

"With how scientifically basketball is played today, the system of the coach also has something to do in preparing the players," the 5-foot-7 floor general said. 

Expected to be with Monteclaro on the Lady Falcons' bench are Anton Altamirano, Matthew Sia, Cayrone Jarett Lim, and Kath Araja; however, he also revealed that he would also pull some "consultation" assistance from his fellow Soaring Falcons alumni, namely Rodney Brondial, Jericho Cruz, Don Trollano, and Harry Petilos.

Falcons' Flight 

The new WBT coach is up for the challenging task of improving his team's record from the previous season, but he admitted that he has yet to meet his wards fully. 

"[When I was offered the position], I first talked to Fr. Aldrin and met them to introduce me to the team... I only met them once or twice [although] I already watched clips of [the team's games]," he explained, adding he only got to talk with some of them like [Victoria] Adeshina and the Alaba twins.

He, however, revealed that he already has a regime set for their training sessions for the next two to three months. 

"We're just going back to basics," he quipped. "Learning [the smaller details of the game] will help the team – do what is efficient and improve the weaknesses skill and system-wise, especially on defense." 

Monteclaro then lauded last season's Mythical Five member Adeshina, saying she can be a dominant player, although he quickly reiterated that he has other plans for the team. 

"We believe [some of these players just need guidance] para lumabas' yung laro nila," he added. 

With a King Falcon at the helm, the Lady Falcons will be ready to take their flight higher come the UAAP 85 3x3 competitions and UAAP 86. 

"Expect us not just to be a better team but a fighting team because we're going to work as hard as we can to bring glory and honor to Adamson and the Lady Falcons Basketball team."