In Brazil bootcamp, Alyssa Valdez admits feeling Hanoi pressure
BARUERI, BRAZIL—Alyssa Valdez knows there’s an immense task ahead for the Philippine national women’s volleyball team to whip itself into something capable of reaching the pinnacle of greatness in the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEAG).
“We are really working hard as a team and as individuals,’’ said Valdez, one of the reliables of the team hungry for a medal. “We’re trying our best in practice and hopefully present to our countrymen the reward that we can give in the end.”
Valdez’s career has a spreadsheet full of individual and collective accomplishments back home, but it lacks a rare commodity—a SEA Games medal.
The PH spikers now hope to launch their best shot at becoming queens of the region with Brazilian coach Jorge Edson Souza de Brito formulating the plan in a two-week training camp here to put these building blocks efficiently working together.
“Overall, I think we’re adapting pretty well and hopefully with all the adjustments that have been taught us, we could imbibe and apply them in the SEA Games,’’ said Valdez, who played in 2015 Singapore, 2017 Kuala Lumpur and 2019 Manila together with Aby Maraño.
De Brito has a complex task of pulling together a group of exceptional individual players into one close-knit unit ready to bang it up with the heavyweights in the Games.
With barely a month left before the Games, Valdez admits that feeling the pressure is a normal thing and part of the entire process.
“Pressure is always there. It motivates us to do more and play even better. We’re going to give our all. We’re praying that all of us will be healthy and reach what we want to achieve in the end,’’ said Valdez.
Team Philippines hasn’t brought home the gold from SEA Games women’s volleyball since 1993 and settled for bronze in 2003 Hanoi and 2005 Manila.
Inquirer’s special coverage of the Hanoi SEA Games 2021.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.