BoC Transformers: Valdez takes flight with new flock
Mark Escarlote on Sep 24, 2016 04:20 PM
This is my first time really to go out of my comfort zone. Different team, different coaching staff and it’s really exciting and challenging at the same time -- Alyssa Valdez
Former Ateneo de Manila Queen Eagle Alyssa Valdez is taking flight with a different flock for the 13th V-League Reinforced Conference.
The three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player is shedding off her usual blue and white jersey to begin a new journey as the leader of a young Bureau of Customs team for the import-laden tournament set to begin on Oct. 1.
“This is my first time really to go out of my comfort zone. Different team, different coaching staff and it’s really exciting and challenging at the same time,” said the 23-year old local volleyball phenom during the Transformers' photo shoot at the BoC gym in Port Area, Manila.
The power-hitting spiker boldly accepted the challenge of carrying a newly-formed team but at the same time Valdez wanted to help the agency in its campaign to transform its image through the sport of volleyball.
“Kasi first time ko nga na malalayo from the teammates ko before and iba rin talaga ang system and culture outside (of Ateneo),” she said. “But it’s really exciting kasi I learn a lot of things. I get to experience a lot of things and siguro it’s one way na siguro a sign or a symbol na I’m really nasa real world na din talaga ako.”
Valdez helped Ateneo win back-to-back crowns in the UAAP in Seasons 76 and 77, gave the Katipunan-based squad a couple of titles in the V-League and steered commercial team PLDT to two V-League conference championships last season with other Lady Eagles and collegiate stars. The San Juan, Batangas player played for BaliPure, which bagged third place in the Open Conference.
“Siyempre its different kasi I’ve been playing with my (Ateneo) teammates ever since noong college talaga,” said Valdez, who declined to answer the reason why she left BaliPure which will also play in the Reinforced Conference. “Ngayon first time kong makakalaro ang mga teammates ko ngayon na never kong na-meet before, during the games lang sa UAAP but aside from that it’s a challenge also to play with imports also.”
BoC has yet to finalize its lineup but as in its fold former National University star Rizza Jane Mandapat, Adamson’s Fenela Emnas, Arellano University’s Menchie Tubiera, outside hitter Andrea Marzan and Jonalyn Ibisa, Jonah Corpuz of San Sebastian College and former University of the Philippines standout Michiko Castaneda.
Valdez is also excited to see action in the court with two Thai imports in setter Natthanicha Jaisaen and open spiker Kanjana Kuthaisong, who is expected to arrive on Sunday.
“Kasi ako I was coached by a Thailander (in Ateneo coach Tai Bundit) and ngayon kasama ko naman inside the court,” Valdez said. “So a’yun different in a way na ang dami kong bagong natututunan. Ibang-iba kasi ang na-experience ko from before sa nai-experience ko ngayon.”
The 28th Southeast Asian national team member said that she also wanted to try how she’ll fare with a Jaisean, part of Thailand’s U-19 national squad, as her playmaker after getting used to the sets coming from high school teammate Kim Fajardo, Ateneo attacking partner Jia Morado and veterans Rubie De Leon and Rhea Dimaculangan.
“I’ve been with great setters representing the Philippines talaga but hetong young talent talaga ng Thailand na si Nich sobrang jolly niya, sobrang open-minded niya, sobrang OK siya sa lahat ng adjustments talaga ng team,” she said. “Siguro siyempre we have to work on out language barrier, differences (sa language). Iba rin kasi talaga eh, iba din talaga ang mga tawag nila, iba ang mga plays nila. So we really have to talk inside and outside of the court. Pero I’m really excited to play with her kasi sobrang light n’yang kasama. Sobrang bata and kahit bata siya, may mga inputs siya na alam mong nakakatulong din sa’yo as a spiker and sana hopefully natutulungan din natin siya na mag-grow as a player sa paglalaro niya sa Philippines.”
Valdez admitted that it will be tough not just for her but for team as a whole to jell with just a few weeks of preparation.
“As a spiker naman you really have to adjust naman talaga sa lahat ng nangyayari kasi hindi naman every time gaya ng sa setter namin before, hindi naman all the time na we get perfect sets, we get perfect receives talaga,” Valdez said. “We have to adjust all the time and ‘yung circumstances naman hindi palagi pare-parehas. So ganoon lang we just have to communicate.”
“If you are open, lahat kami open sa possibilities, sa lahat ng pwedeng mangyari inside the court doon nagi-start ang adjustment within the team,” she added.
As for expectations for the Transformers, who will be handled by Sherwin Meneses with Parley Tupaz as assistant coach, Valdez said that they just wanted to give a good fight and everything will follow.
“Expectations? You know it’s really fun being with this team, being with a new environment and we’re just looking forward to give a good fight,” the charming volleybelle said with a smile. “We are preparing naman and sana mabigyan namin ng magandang laban ang lahat ng mga makakalaban namin in this coming V-League.”
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