Life without Valdez begins in V-League for Ateneo
From superstar to spectator, Alyssa Valdez accepted that she can no longer join her Ateneo teammates on the court.
Though listed as a guest player for the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Collegiate Conference, the three-time UAAP MVP bared she will only be with the Lady Eagles on the sidelines as an observer and mentor to the young guns in preparation for the next season of the UAAP.
“I really want to play with the girls but you have to think of the team. For the benefit of the team, kailangan nila magsama-sama inside the court. We have to face na hindi na ako makakalaro for Ateneo in the UAAP,” she said.
Without Valdez, Ateneo dropped its first game against Technological Institute of the Philippines in five sets, 26-24, 14-25, 25-21, 18-25, 15-12 on Monday, while committing 52 errors in the process.
Valdez acknowledged Ateneo finds itself in an unfamiliar situation without her, but it’s a necessary move not to field in its former captain for the squad to move forward.
“It’s really different not playing, but I’m just really thankful to be with the team and I hope I could help the team by doing that,” she said. “As a player and an Atenean, of course I still want to represent the school. As of now, nire-represent mo siya in a different way, in a different perspective and I hope I can still make them proud.”
Though it pains her to not be on the floor, Valdez is content knowing that she is helping the Lady Eagles as much as she could, mentoring them together with coach Tai Bundit.
“I definitely miss playing volleyball and playing with the girls, but ito rin yung kailangan namin as a team. We have to go out there and get all the confidence we need for the UAAP season.”
And Valdez is positive that the team can turn things around, with Jho Maraguinot and Bea de Leon joining the team as soon as they recover from their injuries.
“I’m still optimistic with the team. Ang maganda dito is nakikita namin yung mga kailangan namin ma-improve for the long run and that’s very valuable to our young team,” she said. “I’m really just proud of the girls. TIP played well and they had good defense. With Ateneo, we’re a young team and hindi rin kumpleto yung team. I think they still did a good job.”
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