Valdez, Customs test UP in debut
Mark Escarlote on Oct 03, 2016 09:10 AM
Different team, different coaching staff and it’s really exciting and challenging at the same time -- Alyssa Valdez
Alyssa Valdez begins her flight with a new flock as newcomer Bureau of Customs tests its mettle against University of the Philippines on Monday in its debut game in the 13th V-League Reinforced Conference at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
Opening serve is at 6:00 p.m. and will air live on S+A channel 23 and S+A HD channel 166 and via livestream on sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/vleague.
The Transformers will also parade two Thai imports in youthful setter Natthanicha Jaisaen and hitter Kanjana Kuthaisong.
But the spotlight is focused on Valdez, a three-time UAAP Most Valuable player, leading Ateneo de Manila to back-to-back reign in Seasons 76 and 77 and a two-time V-League Conference MVP with four titles under her belt, as she spearheads a squad with new teammates.
“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 hitter, who in the Open Conference played for BaliPure.
Former Adamson star Pau Soriano will help Valdez at Customs with other locals Lilet Mabbayad, former NCAA Finals MVP from Arellano University Menchie Tubiera, Rizza Mandapat and Michiko Castaneda.
The Lady Maroons will parade its UAAP core, giving the Lady Maroons an advantage in terms of team chemistry and cohesiveness.
It's UP’s third straight conference of the season and the Diliman-based squad is looking to surpass its third place finish in the same tournament last year.
Justine Dorog, Marian Buitre and veterans Nicole Tiamzon and Kathy Bersola will carry the fight for the Lady Maroons, who could miss the services of Diana Carlos, Arielle Estranero and Open Conference Best Outside Spiker Isa Molde because of the ongoing UAAP beach volleyball tournament.
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