Nakakatawa in a way -- Valdez on game against ex-teammates

Mark Escarlote on Oct 12, 2016 10:36 PM
Nakakatawa in a way -- Valdez on game against ex-teammates
I’m just really proud with them na kahit magkakalaban kami, nirerespeto namin ang isa’t isa as volleyball players -- Alyssa Valdez

Alyssa Valdez faced former teammate Amy Ahomiro in front of the net.

Both smiled at each other and exchanged a little chitchat.

When the ball was on play, Ahomiro got the upper hand, turning back Valdez’s spike attempt.

As the rally continued, the ball again went to Valdez but this time she got her smash past Ahomiro to the back line where another former teammate libero Denden Lazaro failed to protect.

Valdez admitted that it was a different feeling being on the other side of the net trying to score against her buddies and former Ateneo de Manila teammates Wednesday night when her Bureau of Customs Transformers faced BaliPure in the 13th V-League Reinforced Conference.    

“Nakakatawa nga. During training (sa Ateneo) naman we do counterattacks. Minsan naman nakakalaban namin ang isa’t isa pero not in a way na league talaga,” said Valdez, who played for BaliPure in the Open Conference together with most of the core of the Lady Eagles that won two straight UAAP titles in Season 76 and 77.

Valdez left the Purest Water Defenders after leading the squad to a third place finish in the Open Conference.

In their first meeting, BaliPure left the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City the victor beating Valdez’s BoC, 25-24, 25-21, 25-21, for its first win in two tries.  

“I feel like I won also kasi teammates ko naman sila,” said Valdez after the game when the Transformers two-game winning run came to a screeching halt. “It’s volleyball. Someone’s gonna win, someone’s gonna lose.”

BaliPure executed their game plan well as Valdez, who was coming off a record-setting 39-point performance last week, had to bleed for her 16 points with the Water Defenders coached by her Ateneo mentor Tai Bundit taking advantage of their familiarity with the hitter’s attacking tendencies. 

“It’s really a healthy competition and you’re gonna challenge yourself kasi they know you eh. As in really know you on and off court,” said the 23-year-old Valdez. 

“Alam nila kung kailan ako magda-drop ball and si coach Tai alam din niya kasi siya ‘yung tipong magsa-shout sa akin,” added the three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player. “Nakakatawa in a way pero wala laro eh, kailangan mong maging professional at the end of the day.”

Valdez commended the Water Defenders for doing a great job in their first meeting. 

“BaliPure really played as a team today. They had good floor defense,” she said. “Ang ganda ng counter attacks nila, ang ganda ng service nila I think they played really great today and they deserved the win.”

Beyond the intensity of competition, the San Juan, Batangas native couldn’t help but recall some funny moments whenever she faced a former teammate in front of the net. 

“Pinipigilan naming (ang tumawa). Siyempre hindi mo maiiwasan na, “O bakit ka nandito? Bakit ka nand’yan sa kabila?” she said. “Pero siyempre kailangan focused din eh.”

For Valdez, competition ends when a match is concluded. At the end of the day they are all friends playing the sport they love.

“I’m just really proud with them na kahit magkakalaban kami, nirerespeto namin ang isa’t isa as volleyball players,” she said.





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