Before #KiefLy, there was #FredLy
ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 06, 2015 10:07 PM
We donít know a lot of our favorite volleybelleís romantic relationships, donít we? Except for this rumored one that still tickled many fans pink. (All photos taken from Alfred Valbuena's Instagram: @alfredvalbuena)
There’s no doubt Alyssa Valdez currently tops the rest of today’s female volleyball players, her love life now being a favorite topic among fan huddles despite her being cagey about it. (Well, she was very open about her huge crush on Piolo Pascual. Valid enough.) Then there was the big TV revelation of fellow Atenean student-athlete Kiefer Ravena courting her, which has recently sent #TeamKiefly rejoicing like crazy.
How is it like dating hot sports superstars? We can only wish we knew, too.
Also, Kiefer has yet to tell us the deets. Before the Blue Eagle, though, was a Fighting Maroon.
Meet Alfred Valbuena, also a student-athlete once rumored to be the apple of Alyssa’s eyes. Alfred knows his sports like how he knows science (his favorite subject!)—basketball, football, “except tennis, lahat ng ball games pati billiards,” he’s done it all.
We’re sure you’re all familiar with the UP men’s volleyball player, with whom the hashtag #FredLy found its derivation. No, Alfred—21 and taking up Sports Science in Diliman—is not coming out here just for the publicity. This was a chat we had earlier, way before all the KiefLy rage happened.
Alfred was then a volleyball player in Colegio San Agustin in Makati, while Alyssa was already playing for Ateneo. By then, he had already known of the older Alyssa whom his varsity teammate in high school was already crushing on.
“Sobrang crush na crush ng high school teammate ko si Alyssa. Nakita ko na din syang maglaro nun. UAAP Season 74 nun, doon ako nag-start manood ng volleyball. Sabi ko, ‘Sino ba si Alyssa? Ahh, siya pala. Malakas!” he narrated.
It was Miko Lucindo, then Alfred’s senior teammate in UP and Alyssa’s volleyball teammate back in UST High School, who formally introduced him to the Phenom. Alfred, then on his first year in college, was on court; Alyssa and her friends were over the side watching. They would all hang out together afterwards.
“Hindi ko inakala na makikilala ko talaga sya,” he mused. “Close sila ni Miko. Parang mentor ni Alyssa si Miko about volleyball at sa iba pang bagay. Close din kami ni Kuya Miko. Tuwing nagyayaya sya, niyayaya kami ni Alyssa so nagkakasama kami.”
How did the rumor grow then?
“Ewan ko nga, eh. Last year, sa beach volleyball ata ‘yun, nagkasama kami, nag-usap, tapos nagbe-beso kami, ganyan. ‘Tapos biglang mayroon nang hashtag na FredLy ba ‘yun? So, ayun. Mga fans nag-issue, kasi siguro alam nilang close kami dati,” he recalled with a laugh.
It must be the idea of seeing two popular athletes together that made #FredLy inevitably click online. Alfred would know as he admits being active on Twitter. There, he’d receive random fan comments like, “Swerte mo,” “Stay strong,” and “Sana kayo na lang!” referring to his relationship with Alyssa. Then, there’s the fact that the dude is good-looking, too. (Check out his much-followed Twitter and Instagram—he said that maybe he earned more because of #FredLy fans!)
But Alfred—who’s supposed to graduate this year and now hoping to take on one more playing year—stood firm. He doesn’t entertain the idea of using Alyssa, now a bona fide celebrity, as a mere publicity launch pad. They’re just really good friends to begin with.
While lately the two haven’t been hanging out together that much because of Alyssa’s obviously busy schedule, Alfred said they remain friends.
“Close friends lang talaga kami.”
For now, that’s how it is between these two young volleyball stars.