May kanya-kanya naman tayong opinions di ba? -- Alyssa Valdez on criticisms after winning AOY award
Mark Escarlote on May 22, 2016 07:15 PM
Queen Eagle Alyssa Valdez won the 78th UAAP Athlete of the Year for team sports with Adamson slugger Queeny Sabobo while Rio Olympics-bound Ian Lariba of De La Salle and Jessy Khing Lacuna of Ateneo were the recipients for individual sports.
Three-time Most Valuable Player Alyssa Valdez of Ateneo de Manil University took no offense on criticisms about her winning the 78th UAAP Athlete of the Year award she shared with a pair of Olympians and a world player.
Arriving in Manila only a day after the closing ceremonies of another successful staging of the country’s premier collegiate league where the highest individual recognition was given to four exceptional student-athletes last Saturday held at the Ang Bahay ng Alumni in University of the Philippines campus, Valdez just shook off the issue.
The outgoing 22-year-old spiker, who led the Lady Eagles to back-to-back titles in Seasons 76 and 77 before falling short to archrival De La Salle in the Finals last month, learned just Sunday morning when she arrived from an exhibition game in Doha, Qatar that she was chosen as one of the AOY recipients.
Valdez shared the award with Rio Olympics-bound table tennis star Ian Lariba and another Summer Games bet Ateneo tanker Jessie Khing Lacuna as well as 28th Singapore Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Queeny Sabobo of six-time softball champion Adamson.
Valdez and Sabobo received the AOY for team sports while Lacuna and Lariba got it for individual sports - the first time the league has given the award in two categories.
“Nasa flight ako for like 12 hours and wala rin akong idea kung ano ang nangyayari and kung mayroon mang (nagda-doubt) well may kanya-kanya naman tayong opinions di ba?” said Valdez Sunday when ABS-CBN Sports caught up with the country’s most famous volleybelle during the opening ceremonies of the 13th V-League Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan where she led the oath of sportsmanship.
“May kanya-kanya tayong comments about everything but I guess magbo-boil down din naman ‘yan sa kung ano ‘yung nasa iyo,” she added. “Kung ano ang pinaniniwalaan mo at pinaniniwalaan ng mga malalapit sa’yo. Yun lang.”
Lariba was the sentimental favorite to win the award, given to UAAP student-athletes that won the season MVP and showed excellence not only in the league but also by giving honor to the country in the international arena, after an undefeated five-year stint for DLSU and for making history by pocketing a golden ticket to the Olympics following an impressive showing in last month’s 2016 ITTF-Asia Olympic Games Qualification Tournament in Hong Kong.
Lacuna won seven gold medals and broke four UAAP records this season as well as representing the PHI in the 2012 Olympics while Sabobo is a veteran of international tournaments with the Philippine Blu Girls.
Asked if she thinks she deserves the award to put the record straight, the humble and charming San Juan, Batangas native instead just thanked the UAAP for the recognition.
“Oh my god ano ba yan? Grabe naman ‘yun!” Valdez said. “I’m just thankful na binibigyan ako ng mga ganitong blessings.”
“Ako honestly hindi ko naman ini-expect na may mga ganyan na mabibigyan ka ng mga award na ganyan,” she added. “So I’m grateful and thankful and really blessed na kahit na tapos na tayo sa UAAP career nabibigyan pa tayo ng mga ganitong blessings.”
Valdez said that the only thing she regretted was not being there to accept the award – her second after winning the 2008 juniors AOY while playing for University of Sto. Tomas.
“Sayang di ako naka-attend. Kanina lang ako dumating ng around five in the morning. Sayang,” said Valdez. “I didn’t know talaga. Alam mo ba kung kailan ko nalaman? Kanina lang pagdating namin. Kasi kanina ko lang nabasa.”
“Nabasa ko nga sa inyo na nominated ako pero siyempre naman ang mga kalaban din naman namin well deserved din naman din talaga na manalo,” the Bali Pure skipper added. “Hindi ko na rin siya natanggap and nag-text na lang rin si Kiefer (Ravena) na nanalo ako tapos nakita ko na lang pagdating ko na lang rin dito so ngayon ko na lang rin nalaman.”
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