Dindin, Alyssa not rushing ‘comeback’ goals
Their destinations couldn’t be more different. Dindin Santiago-Manabat is looking for a path back to playing overseas. Alyssa Valdez is finding her way back to playing, period.
The one thing that’s common between the two stars? They’re not rushing things.
Despite sources revealing that South Korea has opened the door for Santiago-Manabat for a fourth overseas club stint, the 29-year-old star said her focus is solely on honoring her contract with her new Premier Volleyball League (PVL) team, Akari, and being a positive influence on her younger teammates.
“I will honor my contract and focus [on Akari],” she said in Filipino. “And then we’ll see if my offer abroad will push through.”
Santiago-Manabat did confirm that she already has an offer from abroad but did not divulge the name of the club or what country it is based in. She said playing abroad is still “a 50-50” option for now but that she has filed the necessary documents to become eligible to play in the unnamed league.
“I’m not closing my doors to playing abroad. But for now, I want to focus on helping my Akari family first,” she said.
Santiago-Manabat will do a lot of mentoring with Akari, which features such young stars as Trisha Genesis, Erika Raagas, Lycha Ebon, Michelle Cobb, Jaja Maraguinot, and Dani Ravena.
The former National U standout played in the Japan V.League for Toray Arrows in 2018 and for the Kurobe AquaFairies the following year. She also had a brief stint with Nakhon Ratchasima, teaming up with Mylene Paat in the Volleyball Thailand League in 2022.
Meanwhile, in a social media post, Valdez revealed that her recovery from a right knee injury still has a “long way to go but slow progress is still progress” ahead of Creamline’s title-retention bid in the 2023 PVL All-Filipino Conference, which opens next week at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The three-time MVP shared a series of photos about her ongoing therapy on Instagram, saying she has been limited to rehab exercises while watching the Cool Smashers in practice
“I was so scared to take that first step, single leg squats and a lot more exercises. Grabe!! Just grateful to all the people who have been supporting and helping me—my doctors, [physical therapist] and my Cool Smashers family,” Valdez wrote on Tuesday.
Valdez hurt her right knee last Dec. 10 when she hit the floor hard in Creamline’s bronze-clinching victory over Chery Tiggo in the 2022 Reinforced Conference.
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