2019 ASEAN Grand Prix: I’m happy na naka-contribute ako -- Valdez
Mark Escarlote on Oct 04, 2019 06:40 PM
Alam mo na total team effort kasi napakagaling ng playmaker natin, blocking natin, napakaganda rin today. Hopefully, magtuloy tuloy -- Alyssa Valdez
STA. ROSA, Laguna --- Alyssa Valdez’s presence proved crucial for the Philippine national team not only as additional weapon but also as a court leader.
Despite her limited time to train with the Nationals heading into the ASEAN Grand Prix second leg, the many-time Philippine team member jelled with the squad seamlessly and performed with her usual high quality play.
Valdez finished with 14 points in the Nationals’ emphatic 25-21, 25-23, 25-21, victory over Vietnam in front of the 2,500-strong home crowd at the Sta. Rosa Multi-purpose Gym here Friday.
“First game back after ilang days na hindi ako nakapag-training with the team,” said Valdez, who only trained with the squad Thursday and Friday morning.
Valdez missed the Nationals’ more than two weeks of training in Thailand and the first leg of the four-nation tournament in Nakhon Rathchasima where the Filipinas bagged the bronze medal in a five-set win over Vietnam because of a right foot injury.
Back in the fold, Valdez just did her job to help the squad to the delight of the partisan crowd.
“I'm really happy na nakaka-contribute rin ako to the best of my abilities din,” said Valdez, who had 12 kills and two aces laced with six excellent receptions. “So, sana magtuloy tuloy lang 'yung improvement at madami pa kaming malaman sa isa't isa because of this tournament.”
Head coach Shaq Delos Santos praised Valdez for a job well done.
"Malaking bagay kasi alam naman natin kung paano siya maglaro. Alam naman natin ang quality ng laro niya so ang laking tulong," said Delos Santos.
However, Valdez was quick to deflect all of the credit, saying that it was a total team effort.
“I think it was really maganda lang talaga 'yung laban,” said Valdez. “Everyone stepped up and napag-aralan naman ng coaches and the team kung ano 'yung mga plays na gagawin nila.”
“Alam mo na total team effort kasi napakagaling ng playmaker natin, blocking natin, napakaganda rin today. Hopefully, magtuloy-tuloy,” added Valdez.
Unfortunately, Valdez and three other players won’t be available on Saturday’s game against the first leg champion and powerhouse Thailand.
The prized spiker, starting setter Jia Morado, Maddie Madayag and Jovelyn Gonzaga flew to Iloilo Friday night immediately after the game for their club commitments on Saturday.
“Well, kasi may mga prior commitments din tayo na naka-set na din,” she said. “But we're really praying for the rest of the team na siyempre alam naman natin na magi-step up 'yung mga nasa team at alam natin 'yung mga strategies na gagawin ni Coach Shaq (Delos Santos) and 'yung coaching staff namin going to the game against Thailand.”
They will be back on Sunday to wrap the tournament leg against Indonesia.
---Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles