SEA Games: We can’t drag ourselves down -- Valdez

Mark Escarlote on Dec 03, 2019 10:43 PM
SEA Games: We can’t drag ourselves down -- Valdez
The Philippine women's volleyball team remains in positive disposition despite its stinging five-set loss to Vietnam to start the 30th Southeast Asian Games. (Arvin Lim)

Alyssa Valdez and the rest of the Philippine women’s volleyball team are not losing any sleep over the sorry five-set loss to Vietnam to open their campaign in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

“We're thinking positively naman sa game, simula pa lang, we can't drag ourselves down,” said Valdez following the Nationals’ 25-21, 23-25, 19-25, 25-20, 8-15, loss to the Vietnamese on Tuesday at the packed PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

The Filipinas rallied from a 1-2 hole in the match but failed to sustain the momentum of their rousing fourth set victory in the deciding frame. 

“Kinulang, kinapos talaga kami sa dulo,” said Valdez, who worked for 22 points and 13 excellent receptions.

The Vietnamese, energized by the return of their ace hitter Thi Thanh Thuy Tran, exacted revenge over the Filipinas, who defeated them twice in the ASEAN Grand Prix.

Vietnam was the steadier team in the fifth set, breaking a 6-6 deadlock with a 7-1 scoring spurt to create a 13-7 separation before finishing off the host team.     

“We had a good fight from the first set to the fourth set, but I guess experience will play a big role in the fifth set,” said Valdez of the squad that denied the Philippines of a bronze medal in the 2017 Kuala Lumpur edition of the biennial meet. “And sa dami ng nilaro ng Vietnam for the longest time sa international competitions.”

The loss put the Philippines in a must-win situation against 11-time defending champion Thailand and Indonesia for a chance to vie for the elusive gold medal.

But Valdez and her crew are taking it as a welcome challenge.

“Nakaka-excite talaga, pero one thing we've learned today is, walang imposible,” she said. “Kung sinong makakalaban namin, kung sino magbibigay ng buong puso sa laban, iyon siguro yung mananalo.”

“So going up against Thailand and in the future games, siguro yun lang yung imimindset namin -- the attitude towards the game, the mental toughness,” added Valdez.  

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