‘Fan’ Valdez says team has a lot of fight to show
Alyssa Valdez has been, arguably, the face of Philippine volleyball for the past few years. But on Sunday the Phenom will be the one doing the admiring.
The Filipino superstar will be facing off against the resolute leader of Korean volleyball, Kim Yeon-koung, and Valdez admits she’s a fan of the Fenerbahce hitter.
“I’ve been watching her as a fan, and I’m really excited playing against Korea,” said Valdez as the team prepares for the quarterfinals of the AVC Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship in Biñan, Laguna.
Valdez believes the game against Korea will help sharpen the Philippines for the future.
“We all know that Korea is a well-known team in international volleyball and playing against such an experienced team will be a great lesson for us players.”
After this tournament, the Philippines will fly to Kuala Lumpur for the Southeast Asian Games, where it hopes to gain a podium finish.
Valdez, who leads the Philippines in scoring with 14 points a game, will look to swing the Philippines back into the win column after suffering a disappointing three-set loss to Kazakhstan at the end of the group stages.
The Filipinos’ 25-23, 25-20, 25-19 defeat left them at second in Pool A with a 1-1 record while Korea, despite sitting out Kim for the first two group stage games, went 3-0 to top Pool C.
And while Valdez played in all of the Philippines’ games, Kim played in just one as she had to rest after playing for nearly a month in the FIVB World Grand Prix.
Valdez knows that the 79th-ranked Philippines will be a definitive underdog against the 10th best team in the world.
“It’s going to be a tougher second round because there’s Korea, Vietnam but we’re here to fight,” said Valdez. “We’re here to learn, we’re here to win, we’re here to fight.”
“We’ll just continue fighting because this tournament is far from over.”
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