BEAST MODE BALDO: What Alyssa Valdez did not do in Game 2 that may have made a difference
ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 30, 2016 12:55 PM
EYES WIDE OPEN
Sometimes, breaking out from one's routine is all it takes to make a difference.
This may have been true for Alyssa Valdez in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 78 Women's Volleyball Finals last Wednesday.
The Ateneo Lady Eagles just blew a 24 - 20 lead in Set 2 and allowed the De La Salle Lady Spikers to steal the set, 28 - 26, for a commanding 2-0 advantage in the match.
In between the second and third sets, the Lady Eagles did their usual pratice of closing their eyes and meditating.
However, there was one player who didn't do the said routine. Yup, it was Lady Eagles captain Valdez.
During the said break, ABS-CBN Sports Arvin Lim photographer noticed Valdez with he eyes wide open, her gaze transfixed on Ateneo head coach Tai Bundit while the rest of the team had their eyelids shut. Lim instinctively took a shot of the focused three-time UAAP MVP.
Valdez went beast mode in the next three sets, scoring 23 of her game-high 34 points.
In Set 3, Valdez exploded for nine points (seven attacks, one block and one ace), as the two-time defending champions took the set, 25 - 17.
In the next set, the San Juan, Batangas-native added seven more points to force the deciding set, 25 - 16.
Valdez then put the finishing touches of Ateneo's comeback victory as she added seven more points, all on attacks, to take the set, 15 - 11, and set the stage for the winner-take-all match.
Now, will Valdez keep her eyes open or closed in between sets in Game 3?