Ateneo's Alyssa Valdez is the Finals MVP. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – Ateneo’s volleyball star Alyssa Valdez heaped praise on her teammates after the Lady Eagles made history by winning the UAAP women’s volleyball championship last Saturday.
Valdez, the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, scored 21 points and took over for Ateneo in the endgame as the Lady Eagles completed a three-set sweep of La Salle in their do-or-die showdown.
She was later named the Finals MVP.
“Siguro po, nakuha ko talaga ‘yung Finals MVP dahil sa teammates ko,” Valdez said. “Sabi ko nga po, hindi naman ako makaka-point kung hindi naman sine-set up sa akin ‘yung bola at kung walang tiwala sa akin ‘yung mga teammates ko.”
Now the established leader of the Lady Eagles along with veterans Denden Lazaro and Ella de Jesus, Valdez said she had accepted the responsibility of handling a team that started two rookies.
“Kami na ‘yung may responsibility na dalhin ‘yung mga rookies. But what happened is, hindi talaga kami nagdala. Together eh, as a team talaga ‘yung (nangyari),” she said. “Lahat ay ginawa lang ‘yung roles.”
“Ang gusto ko sa team na na-handle ko this year, sobrang humble nilang lahat, and every training, they’re willing to improve and learn,” Valdez added.
“Kahit si Coach Tai (Bundit) nakakainis sa training, gustong-gusto pa rin nilang matuto. Gusto naming matuto every day.”
Having Bundit was also a major factor, Valdez said.
“Effective lang talaga ‘yung pagdating ni Coach Tai. Sobrang laking factor talaga siya,” she said.
Even as she deflected praise, Valdez was still commended by former Ateneo players, including former teammate Gretchen Ho.
“I’m so proud of Alyssa, because she was able to handle the team,” said Ho. “Talagang nag-step up siya as a leader, and mas consistent na siya ngayon.”