They mastered (defending) me –- Alyssa Valdez

Mark Escarlote on Nov 12, 2016 11:24 PM
They mastered (defending) me –- Alyssa Valdez
They’re really giving me a hard time talaga -- Alyssa Valdez

Alyssa Valdez is unstoppable most of the time.

Pocari Sweat’s defense Saturday night was one of those rare instances that made the Phenom look mortal.

The Bureau of Customs’ prized hitter admitted that the Lady Warriors did a great job neutralizing her offense as she toiled the whole match to earn 12 points in the Transformers’ 22-25, 18-25, 18-25, Game 1 loss in the 13th V-League Reinforced Conference best-of-three Finals at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.      

“Siguro they really mastered (defending) me in a way siguro,” said the former two-time league Most Valuable Player.

Valdez had 10 kills in a tiring 45-attempt clip. The Lady Warriors’ middles 6-foot-4 American Andrea Kacsits and Desiree Dadang took turns in making life miserable in front of the net for Valdez. There were times that Pocari Sweat will commit American Bre Mackie, Michele Gumabao and even Filipino-American Iris Tolenada to clog the net.      

“They’re really giving me a hard time talaga,” said Valdez. “But it’s my job to help the team and contribute to the team kahit ganoon ang ipinapakita din nila (sa defense).”   

Aside from putting Valdez in check, Pocari Sweat also limited Thai import Kanjana Kuthaisong to eight points.

But the biggest headache in the series opener that BoC had was the number of their errors. The Transformers gave away 26 points off errors – equivalent of a full set – making life easier for their elimination round tormentors.   

“It was a tough loss for the team. It was one of our biggest losses sabi nga ni coach Sherwin (Meneses) din kanina,” said Valdez. “Pocari is really strong pero we really had so many errors today parang it showed na we really didn’t come prepared and we didn’t train harder.”

“It’s really a disadvantage for the team siyempre going into the Finals na ganoon ang ipinakita namin,” she continued. “Hopefully it will make naman the team, siyempre mahirap din i-boost ang confidence ng team sa nangyari but definitely we can’t do anything. Wala kaming ibang pwedeng piliin but to be stronger going into the second game.”

After that whipping, Valdez knows that it will be harder to bounce back.

But BoC is no stranger in coming back from a series hole.

The Transformers were in the same situation in the semifinals when BaliPure swept them in the series opener. BoC regrouped and pulled off an upset to advance in the Finals.

They hope to repeat it on Monday in Game 2.  

“Siguro after that game definitely mahirap talaga. Mahirap but we’ll take it muna tonight,” said an optimistic Valdez. “We have to meditate and think of all the errors, lahat ng pagkakamali, lahat ng pwedeng i-adjust.”

“Going into the training tomorrow dapat iba na ang mindset mo. You have to be positive and you have to be confident,” she added.

Game 3, if needed, is on Wednesday.






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