No farewell tour just yet for graduating Alyssa Valdez
MANILA, Philippines – Alyssa Valdez is not ready to say goodbye to the UAAP just yet.
The Ateneo Lady Eagles star and current face of Philippine volleyball is keeping her looming graduation far from her mind as she tries to steer her team to a 3-peat in UAAP Season 78.
"I'm shocked. I see the faces on the court and I tell myself I feel so old. I cycled through one generation already, and I'm still here," the mild-mannered skipper joked in a mix of Filipino and English on Saturday, February 20, when asked how she's going through the last year of her collegiate career.
"I really have mixed emotions but I'm happy that it's ending and I really had a great time in the UAAP and in Ateneo. But then I feel sad, too, that my comfort zone will be gone soon, which is college, the UAAP, everything.
"You're gonna go to the real world. It's so scary but I'm really trying to make the most out of the time I'm given now."
The 22-year-old ace attacker out of UST High School already has quite the glittered collegiate career as she collected two UAAP championships and back-to-back league MVP trophies.
Part of Ateneo's famed Fab 5 (together with Fille Cainglet, Dzi Gervacio, Gretchen Ho, A Nacachi and Jem Ferrer), Valdez also previously went to the UAAP Finals twice before winning the title.
The combination of Valdez's incredible athleticism, talent, and character contributed to her rapid rise to the top of Philippine volleyball, and spurned a loyal following that never fails to support her in each game.
Valdez, a member of the national team as well, is so far the UAAP's second leading scorer – 6 points behind UST's Cherry Rondina – as of February 21, nearing the end of the first round of eliminations.
"I’m just enjoying. I don't think about it too much," she said. "I feel like I'm getting older when I think of it."
Valdez does not want to begin a farewell tour just yet as the undefeated Ateneo rolls to 5-0 with two games to go before round two. She does not come out thinking this will be the last time she's facing some of the teams.
She does not act like she's graduating and leaving soon. Instead, she acts like she's beginning all over again.
"I don't want to feel it. Coach (Tai Bundit) wants us to always act like we're kids inside the court so we find a balance," Valdez explained.
"We need to play like we don't know anything so everything is new, fresh, and we're always excited to learn something new. I don't want to think that I’m getting old. I’ll just enjoy. It's still a long way to go." – Rappler.com