UAAP Volleyball Player of the Week: Alyssa Valdez
Alyssa Valdez (left) of Ateneo de Manila gets her second UAAP Player of the Week citation.
A true leader will always find a way to rally the troops from the biggest and toughest of challenges.
Alyssa Valdez undoubtedly has that trait.
The defending champion Ateneo de Manila Lady Eagles found themselves in unfamiliar territory at the start of the second round after dropping consecutive defeats for the first time in three seasons starting from a straight sets loss to end the opening round of the 78th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.
Ateneo’s 24-game winning streak was halted by bitter rival De La Salle before the young University of the Philippines handed the Lady Eagles a four-set setback.
Then Valdez took over.
Valdez showcased the kind of leadership and performance to validate her back-to-back Most Valuable Player awards.
The graduating Queen Eagle averaged 20 points in Ateneo’s back-to-back victories to carry the Katipunan-based squad back in solo lead.
Her performance gave the fifth year hitter her second ABS-CBN Sports’ UAAP women’s volleyball Player of the Week citation.
Valdez, who got her first recognition in the tournament's opening week, scored 20 markers in Ateneo’s straight sets domination of National University, 26-24, 25-17, 25-19, last Wednesday to snap out of the slump.
With her charming smile and heart strong mantra in full display inside the court, Valdez had an all-around game with 14 kills, four aces and a kill block to go with five perfect receptions.
She followed it up four days after with another 20-point performance in bringing down the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws, 25-17, 25-10, 25-21, last Sunday.
Her accumulated points this season climbed to 172 total, overtaking first round leader Cherry Rondina of University of Sto. Tomas for the Best Scorer race.
But winning an individual accolade is far from Valdez’s concern right now.
“We’re focusing on the bigger picture,” said Valdez.
The Lady Eagles are in solo lead with a 8-2 win-loss record and are couple of wins away from securing a spot in the Final Four in their journey for a three-peat.
Valdez edged teammate Jho Maraguinot, Diana Carlos of UP and DLSU duo of Kim Dy and Ara Galang for the weekly citation.