As she celebrated her 23rd birthday, volleyball superstar Alyssa Valdez felt overwhelmed by the effort shown by her legion of fans on Wednesday night at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
Led by Alyfinity, a fan base dedicated to The Phenom, a personalized giant banner welcomed Valdez as she entered the court while some fans walked into the sideline to give her a cake and a bouquet of flowers before the start of Game 1 of the semifinals between Bali Pure and Pocari.
“Siguro today, extra effort sila but you know their effort going into the game, Wednesday, Saturday, Monday diba, alam mo okay yun na sa amin,” Valdez said. “And now, nagbigay pa sila ng extra effort so sina bang hindi matutuwa? You’re not expecting anything from them. That’s why mas nakakatouch na you’re not expecting na ganun ka-genuine yung effort nila, sobrang unconditional.”
Buoyed by the passionate supporters in attendance, the 3-time UAAP MVP gave back immediately to them as she powered the Purest Water Defenders in sweeping Lady Warriors.
Valdez scored more than her current age as she finished with 24 points on 19 kills, 4 service aces, and a block.
“Maraming, maraming salamat talaga, not only sa kanila but to all the people na nagreet and nag take ng time to greet me,” she added. “I’m really happy to spend it with you guys, with everyone here. So see you next year?” — By Jason Mercene