MANILA, Philippines -- If and when the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) returns to action, it will mark the first time that longtime friends and former teammates Alyssa Valdez and Denden Lazaro-Revilla will face off against each other as professionals.
With Lazaro-Revilla anchoring their defense and Valdez carrying the load offensively, Ateneo de Manila University won back-to-back UAAP women's volleyball titles in Seasons 76 and 77.
Since graduating, they have yet to face off at the club level. Valdez has played exclusively for PVL teams, while Lazaro-Revilla took a brief break to focus on med school, then played in the Philippine Superliga (PSL) for Cocolife and Petron.
A showdown between the two good friends is on the horizon now that Lazaro-Revilla has signed with Choco Mucho, while Valdez continues to star for the Creamline Cool Smashers.
"Aabangan ko na ang mga service ace mo," Lazaro-Revilla said in jest when the pair appeared on the "Crossover" podcast, recently.
Valdez said she is looking forward to the challenge of playing against Lazaro-Revilla, who is a two-time Best Receiver and a one-time Best Digger during her collegiate career.
"As much as super excited na ako, ganoon din ako siyempre kinakabahan," she admitted. "Siyempre, I know Den, I know her capabilities and abilities. I think ako, masasabi ko lang, Choco Mucho has really siguro won already by getting Denden."
"Honestly, nakakatakot kasi alam mo 'yung kayang gawin ni Denden. But at the same time, as an athlete, as a volleyball player, siyempre you challenge yourself," Valdez added.
Lazaro-Revilla, for her part, welcomed the challenge, saying: "Alam mo naman, hindi tayo papatalo sa isa't isa."
Creamline won both of their matches against Choco Mucho in the 2019 PVL Open Conference. The Cool Smashers took their first meeting, 25-12, 25-22, 19-25, 25-18, with Valdez scoring 27 points.
Their second encounter was a straight-sets sweep for Creamline, 25-15, 25-15, 25-16, with Jema Galarza (16 points) and Michele Gumabao (12 points) taking charge.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).