Bright future –- Valdez on young bloods

Mark Escarlote on Jan 25, 2019 06:21 PM
Bright future –- Valdez on young bloods
Sila parang high school pa lang mentally, physically and laro nila very smart na, very mature and parang ang dami na nilang nilalaruan -- Alyssa Valdez on promising volleyball talents

Veteran hitter Alyssa Valdez and the rest of the national mainstays liked what they saw when they went up against young talents Thursday during the first day of Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc.’s expansion tryout at the Arellano U School of Law gym in Taft Avenue.

High school player like Angel Canino of De La Salle-Zobel and incoming college rookie Eya Laure of University of Sto. Tomas showed flashes of what they could deliver to the national team in the future.

“Bright future I guess,” said Valdez, who herself started her national team career at a young age, as part of the national youth squad that participated in the 2008 Asian Youth Girls Volleyball held in Pasig City. “Magiging bright lang ‘yan kung maganda at plinano ang programa sa volleyball.”

As part of its initiative to strengthen its grassroots program, LVPI invited high school standouts to participate in the expansion tryouts. The association, aside from beefing up the seniors pool, also looked at assembling an Under-23 team pool as the country prepares for a number of international tournaments including the Asian U-23 Championships in Hanoi, Vietnam in July and the Manila Southeast Asian Games in November.  

Judging by their built and skills, Valdez felt that this batch of young players have what it takes to become future national team stars.   

“’Yung physical appearance nila very built to be like a volleyball player. Well they are playing for how many years naman. But compared to our batch, sila talaga very mature ang katawan nila sa age nila,” said Valdez, who also donned the tri-colors during the first Asian U-23 Championship four years ago in Pasig.

“Kasi kami parang siguro naging mature kmai pagdating sa college. But sila parang high school pa lang mentally, physically and laro nila very smart na, very mature and parang ang dami na nilang nilalaruan,” she added.

What impressed Valdez the most was the moxie shown by these young talents. They were not afraid to strut their wares and display their skills during scrimmages against veteran players like her.

“Nagugulat ako in a sense na bata pa lang sila. Kapag tinanong mo ang age nila doon ka lang magugulat pero kapag their inside the court its equal footing talaga,” said Valdez. “Hindi mo mararamdaman sa kanila na nahihiya sila, hindi mo nararamdaman sa kanila na bata sila na natatakot sila. Magandang pangitain yan para sa (national team).”

Overall, Valdez sees the national sports association’s effort to develop and integrate the young guns into the pool as a good move for the continuity of the national team program.   

“Not pressuring them but it’s a good start na habang bata sila nagi-start na sila. It’s a good way of saying na maganda at mahaba pa ang tatakbuhin ng national team,” she said.

 

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles

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