MANILA, Philippines – Alyssa Valdez and coach Ramil de Jesus have shared the volleyball court for countless times but they were always on opposite sides as parts of Ateneo and La Salle’s historied rivalry.
They met in 4 straight UAAP championship series with both of them winning two titles apiece.
This time, however, the two are fighting for the same cause.
Valdez is among the 34 hopefuls vying for a roster spot in the Philippine women’s volleyball team that will be mentored by de Jesus, who was officially named head coach of the national squad on Friday, April 13, just before the tryouts began.
While one tryout session is already in the books, the former 3-time UAAP Most Valuable said she has yet to have a conversation with de Jesus.
“I’m really shy to talk to coach Ramil ’cause it’s really my first time to be with him, under him, playing with him and coached by him,” said Valdez.
(I’m really shy to talk to coach Ramil because it’s really my first time to be with him, to be under him, to play with him and to be coached by him.)
“So hopefully, mga kaunting trainings pa para mag-get to know each other pa kami, ng mga coaches also namin.”
(So hopefully, in the next training sessions, we could get to know each other with the other coaches as well.)
National team aspirant Alyssa Valdez says she is too shy to talk to head coach Ramil de Jesus. @RapplerSports pic.twitter.com/OKgJ9MSB9f— delfin dioquino (@dioquinodelfin) April 13, 2018
Her late arrival for the tryouts might have had a hand in her timid approach of talking with the 10-time UAAP champion tactician.
Because of traffic, Valdez and former Ateneo teammate Jia Morado were the last of the 18 volleybelles present to arrive at the Arellano University gym.
“Actually syempre medyo nakakahiya. It’s a national team tryout so time is a sign of discipline talaga and being here din talaga. So syempre kami as professional volleyball players, dapat nandoon din ‘yung ano namin, sense of time,” said Valdez.
(Actually, it is a little embarassing. It’s a national team tryout so time and attendance are signs of discipline. Of course, as professional volleyball players, we should showcase our sense of time.)
“Pero hindi rin natin masasabi talaga, medyo nakakahiya man, traffic din talaga. Hopefully sa next few trainings din, makacommit din kami talaga sa oras namin.”
(But we really cannot say, it is a little embarassing but it was traffic. Hopefully in the next few trainings, we can commit our time for this.)
Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. conducted the tryouts as the Philippines gears up for the Asian Games in Indonesia in August and the Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Cup in September.
And as a member of former national squads, Valdez hopes that the preparation will finally bear fruit.
“Pinepressure din namin ‘yung sarili namin to push ourselves pa para at least hindi ‘almost’ ‘yung masasabi natin at the end of the tournament.”
(We are also pressuring ourselves to push ourselves harder so we won’t have to say “almost” at the end of tournaments.) – Rappler.com
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