PVL: MOA Arena brings back Valdez’s ‘vintage form’
Mark Escarlote on Jul 08, 2018 08:58 PM
Iba ‘yung napaparamdam sa akin, malapit sa puso ko itong MOA Arena ever since -- Alyssa Valdez
The vibe of playing inside the Mall of Asia Arena brought back a lot of memories for Alyssa Valdez.
The Creamline star used it as an inspiration to fuel her desire to end a long title drought.
Valdez dropped 18 points to help the Cool Smashers beat PayMaya, 25-21, 22-25, 25-20, 25-19, Sunday in Game 1 of the best-of-three Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference Finals.
It was in the same arena when Valdez rallied Ateneo to its breakthrough crown against the then thrice-to-beat DLSU in Season 76 and in the Lady Eagles’ historic sweep of Season 77.
“It’s always good to be back naman sa place na siyempre first ever championship rin namin dito eh, ng Ateneo sa MOA,” said Valdez. “So iba rin ang feels din na babalik at babalikan mo sa unang venue yung Arena na nakakuha ka ng gold.”
Outside last year's Battle of the Rivals, Game 1 was the first competitive game of Valdez back in the state-of-the-art venue since leading Ateneo de Manila University to winning Game 2 of UAAP Season 78 back in 2015 against archrival De La Salle University that evened their series. Unfortunately, Valdez and the Lady Eagles fell short in the series decider.
“Iba ‘yung napaparamdam sa akin, malapit sa puso ko itong MOA Arena ever since,” added Valdez, who had 11 digs.
The Cool Smashers team captain now has a chance to end a three-year title-less stretch on Wednesday at the same venue.
Valdez last won a crown back in 2015 while playing for PLDT alongside Jaja Santiago, Dindin Santiago-Manabat and Grethcel Soltones, who is now playing for PayMaya, in the defunct V-League Reinforced Conference.
“Hindi mo maitatago na siguro nasi-spread naming ang vibes na gusto namin lahat mag-champion hindi lang naman ako,” said Valdez. “More than ever its everyone who wanted this win, who wanted to win the championship that’s why maganda ang teamwork namin.”
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles