"Parang five-setter. Tapos 2-2 pa"-- Valdez

Mark Escarlote on Apr 22, 2016 03:47 PM
Parang five-setter ng ano. Tapos 2-2 pa, oh my god! -- Queen Eagle Alyssa Valdez

Two-time Most Valuable Player Alyssa Valdez has seen a lot of five-setters in her illustrious collegiate volleyball career.

Looking at her last hurrah for the three-peat-seeking Ateneo de Manila, the 22-year-old power-spiker could not help but compare her Lady Eagles’ best-of-three championship showdown with bitter rival De La Salle Lady Spikers to fifth and deciding set.

It is the two proud school’s fifth Finals meeting in a row with the Lady Spikers taking the first two in Seasons 74 and 75 before the Lady Eagles owned the next two including a complete sweep of last year’s tournament.  

“Parang five-setter ng ano. Tapos 2-2 pa, oh my god!” she said Thursday, two days before Game One of the Finals set 4:00 p.m. at the Big Dome.  

Valdez, a recruit from University of Sto. Tomas high school, could not help but get goosebumps thinking of ending her collegiate career facing the same team she and the Lady Eagles clashed with for the past four years.   

“And what a way to end it during our last year pa na mga nag-start talaga,” added Valdez, who will leave the team together with Mae Tajima and Amy Ahomiro of New Zealand after this tournament.

It is the same sentiment she shared with outgoing Lady Spiker Ara Galang.  

“Siyempre parang since rookie year ko bale 2-2 na (sa finals). Two years sa amin, two years sa kanila (ang championship),” said Galang in an interview after DLSU booted out Far Eastern University last Wednesday for the Taft-based squad’s eighth straight Finals appearance. 

“So kailangan ‘yun din ang isang paghugutan namin, na kailangan gawin naming ang lahat para lang makuha naming ang goal naming (title),” added Galang, who was sidelined by an ACL injury last year taking her out of the championship series where Ateneo gutted the Lady Spikers with ease.   

Aside from Galang, Mika Reyes – Valdez’s rival on and off the court as far as their fans are concerned, Cyd Demecillo, Mika Esperanza and Carol Cerveza are also on their last playing year.

Looking beyond the rivalry, Valdez just want to savor the last moments of her collegiate career and she could not ask for anything more but spend it writing an epic ending crossing paths with the greatest rivalry in the history of Philippine collegiate volleyball.

“It’s been really a long journey for both teams and I’m really happy for us na graduating we’re ending it together,” said Valdez. “No matter what happens, no matter what ending, I think it’s gonna be a memorable UAAP Season 78.”




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