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MANILA, Philippines – She will always be the ‘Phenom’ who produced the sharpest kills in the league and the team captain who carried her teammates in crucial moments while still wearing a smile.
The 3-time MVP Alyssa Valdez may not be exiting the UAAP with a final championship, but she leaves with the respect she’s earned from co-athletes, coaches, and fans. And though Valdez’s Ateneo Lady Eagles fell short of their third straight title against the DLSU Lady Spikers on Saturday, April 30, the reigning league MVP understands that there’s plenty of living left to do.
“Life goes on. Hindi naman natatapos dito,” she said her short post-game press conference.
(Life goes on. It doesn’t end here.)
Right after the match that broke the hearts of the Lady Eagles, Valdez walked around the court of the Araneta Coliseum and addressed the Ateneo community with teary eyes.
The crowd responded with loud cheers and applause to honor the graduating player who brought two championships and multiple recognitions to Loyola.
“I’m just thankful for the past 5 years in Ateneo and in the UAAP. I discovered myself, I found myself,” Valdez thanked her now alma mater.
She was hesitant to leave UST to play college volleyball for Ateneo. But Valdez never regretted her 5-year stay with the university and the team.
Valdez has always been known for giving her all in every game in her 5 years in the college ranks. But last night’s match was different.
The Lady Eagle didn’t hold back anything in her final UAAP game, exhausting 31 points consisting of 30 attacks out of herself. It was still not enough to overcome La Salle’s strong floor and net defense.
In the final canto, the attacks of the tired Valdez hardly penetrated the La Salle side courtesy of the strong blocking of Mary Joy Baron and Mika Reyes.
Even as the disappointment of defeat set in, Valdez remained down-to-earth, praising the performance of their rivals.
“Congratulations to the De La Salle Lady Spikers. They really played well today. They played as a team,” Valdez said.
“They’re really strong and our team is just thankful to be here in the finals,” she added.
She didn’t forget to also give thanks to her teammates for fighting with her.
“We couldn’t ask for more. We gave our best, win or lose. I love my teammates.”
Until the end of her run with the Ateneo Lady Eagles, Valdez stayed true to Ateno’s battle cry.
“Win or lose, it’s really the school we choose,” she smiled. – Rappler.com
MORE UAAP WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL FINALS COVERAGE:
- Ara Galang used injury as motivation for one last championship
- La Salle heaps praise on departing MVP Valdez
- IN PHOTOS: Smiles, tears as La Salle wins UAAP volleyball title
- Kim Dy envisions bright future as DLSU enters new era
- Netizens pay tribute to graduating stars after La Salle-Ateneo UAAP Finals