Valdez officially named as PHI Team's Singapore SEA Games flag-bearer
Mark Escarlote on Apr 15, 2015 04:25 PM
Volleyball star Alyssa Valdez unanimously got the nod from the Philippine Olympic Committee executive board to fly the Philippine banner in the Singapore Southeast Asian Games set on June 5 to 16.
Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. president Joey Romasanta relayed the news to sports scribes Wednesday afternoon after the final deliberation in the POC headquarters.
“The POC board unanimously voted Alyssa Valdez as our Singapore Southeast Asian Games flag-bearer,” said the volleyball head.
The 21-year-old UAAP back-to-back Most Valuable Player from Ateneo De Manila, will march in front of the 578-strong Team Philippines waving the national color during the traditional parade of nations.
Valdez, who will also skipper the national U-23 team on May 1 to 9 in the Asian U-23 championship to be held in Manila, bested other candidates from football, rugby seven and athletics.
Valdez's closest rival for the honor, 2013 SEA Games wushu gold medalist Daniel Parantac was withdrawn from the list the day before the announcement as the bet is set to compete the following morning after the opening ceremony.
Although volleyball has been absent for the past ten years in a major international tournament, Valdez still deserves to become the flag-bearer for her beauty, charisma, athletic prowess and willingness to serve the country.
"Maraming salamat po sa POC dahil binigyan ng chance ang volleyball na makabalik ulit sa SEA Games," Valdez said. She was informed by Romasanta via phone call of her appointment.
Valdez will be the first volleyball player and the second non-medalist to carry the flag in an international conclave. The first was professional boxer Manny Pacquiao, who served as flag-bearer when the country competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
"Alyssa Valdez really deserves it," said POC president Peping Cojuangco following the hour-long meeting at the POC office in Philsports compound. "She is the epitome of a Filipina athlete. She has what it takes to be our flag bearer. She is charming, humble, athletic and, most of all, willing to serve the country through volleyball."
She will be joining the elite circle of Pacquiao, Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski, Efren "Bata" Reyes and Paeng Nepomuceno in the list of the country's flag-bearers in major international competitions.
"Her great personality inside and outside the court served as a major factor in the POC's unanimous decision," said Larong Volleyball sa Piilipinas, Inc. president Joey Romasanta, who is also a member of the powerful POC executive board. "The country's last gold medal in volleyball was won in Singapore in 1993. So it is only fitting that a well-loved volleyball player in Valdez will carry the flag in our return to Singapore."
Joining Valdez in the final SEA Games roster are Rachel Ann Daquis, Aby Marano, Rhea Dimaculangan, Maika Ortiz, Jovelyn Gonzaga and Aiza Maizo as well as youth standouts Jaja Santiago, Gretchel Soltones, Dindin Manabat, Jia Morado and Denden Lazaro.
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