Valdez shines in debut, helps BaliPure win three straight
Mark Escarlote on Jun 13, 2016 08:56 PM
Alyssa Valdez dropped 26 points in her debut with BaliPure.
Debuting Alyssa Valdez powered BaliPure to its third straight win Monday night in a thrilling, 20-25, 25-22, 15-25, 25-17, 15-12 escape against the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons in the 13th V-League Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan.
The former Ateneo de Manila Queen Eagle dropped 26 points in her first game with the Purest Water Defenders after skipping the team’s first three outings because of her European tour.
Valdez had a total of 23 attack points with three service aces and also played big on the defensive end with 18 excellent receptions to push the Purest Water Defenders to a 3-1 win-loss record tied in second to third spot with Philippine Air Force.
Pocari Sweat is perched on top of the leader board with an unbeaten record of 4-0.
Valdez and playing coach Charo Soriano showed the way for BaliPure in the deciding set as the Water Defenders buried the fading Lady Maroons to a 10-2 hole.
But UP refused to go down without a fight.
The Lady Maroons saved five match points to close the gap, 12-14. Valdez saw enough and hammered down a match-clinching cross court hit.
“Medyo po kasi mabagal ang start namin. We’re very hesistant. But eventually we picked up our game. Nag-usap-usap po ang lahat and we really motivated each other,” said Soriano. “Napakasaya po namin na at last, finally, Bali Pure is complete.”
Valdez, a three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player and two-time V-League MVP, got her usual numbers despite a month of hiatus from competitive volleyball since Ateneo lost the UAAP crown to rival De La Salle University.
“Super struggle also ako kasi first time kong naging teammates ‘yung iba. Iba rin talaga yung feeling na nagti-training ka everyday na kumpleto,” said Valdez, who once again shared the court with other former Ateneo players.
"I think it’s really important yung pinagsamahan ng mga tao inside the court and yun ang talaganf nakapag-pull (through) sa amin sa game,” she added.
NCAA back-to-back MVP Grethcel Soltones finished with 15 points while Amy Ahomiro had 10. Soriano and Dzi Gervacio registered five markers each for BaliPure, which raced to an 18-8 lead in the fourth period and never looked back to force the decider.
UAAP Season 78 Rookie of the Year Isa Molde scored 22 points with 18 coming off attacks while Kathy Bersola had 19 for the Lady Marons.
Justine Dorog finished with 10 for UP, which absorbed its third loss in four outing to tie Iriga.
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