There is no denying that Alyssa Valdez has become one of the busiest—if not the busiest—volleyball stars in the country over the past few years.
Aside from her stint as skipper of Ateneo’s women’s volleyball team and her turn as a regular in the national team, Valdez also has dozens of commitments for photo shoots and taping for various endorsements and TV appearances.
Which is why when the Lady Eagles snapped their 24-game winning streak against La Salle in the 1st round of the UAAP, some were quick to point out that the mild dip in Valdez’s performance is due to her hectic schedule.
This, according to ‘The Phenom,’ is not the issue as she assured that her manager, Vania Edralin, and Ateneo are consistent in making sure that studies and the sport come first especially during the season.
“I think Vania knows my limitations and that’s why we’re working together talaga. She knows kung hanggang saan lang dapat. Siya pa ‘yung nagtetext sa akin na, ‘Matulog ka na,’” said the reigning MVP.
“If you have her and the guidance from Ateneo like sila Sir Ricky (Palou), they know naman and I understand kung saan sila nanggagaling. Kaya now, we just have to focus our priorities,” she added.
Ateneo went on a 2-game skid, losing to a young UP squad before eventually going back to its winning ways by sweeping NU to remain on top of the standings.
Against the Lady Bulldogs, a ‘happy’ Valdez returned to her lethal form, top scoring with 20 points built on 14 kills, 5 service aces and a block.
On cutting back on extra-curricular activities while the tournament is ongoing, she says, “Not naman fully stop but you can do naman something work-related but not stressing your self.”
With the UAAP slowly inching into the semifinals, the focus of Valdez and the rest of the Katipunan squad will be on their studies and their upcoming games, a concept her manager fully supports.
“Definitely, priorities talaga dapat. Ako naman as manager, alam ko na it’s always studies and volleyball first kasi she wouldn’t get all these opportunities if it wasn’t for the sport and the school,” Edralin told FOX Sports. “So kami secondary lang kami sa school and sa studies. Super support lang.”
“It’s a conscious agreement from both of us,” she added.
Good thing going for the talent-manager relationship is the fact that though she is without a doubt a social media superstar, Valdez remains aloof at the thought of being online too much.
“Hindi kasi ‘yan nagtetext sa akin. It’s good na hindi siya mahilig mag online kasi nakaka-focus siya. After the games, I always check up on her,” shared Edralin, who handles the endorsement side of the 2-time champions career.
Asked about the rough two weeks she has had, the outside hitter, being the positive ball of energy that she is, took the chance to thank the fans who has showered her with love during her struggle.
“I have to thank everyone talaga na naka-alala sa akin sa last game. They went to the dorm just to give me cakes and sweets just to make me feel specia,” shared the veteran spiker. “Text messages from people close to my heart made me really happy and inspired to play again.”
Back on top and in tip top shape, the jolly persona that has endeared the volleyball fans to Valdez is back and for the manager, if her talent is happy, then she, too, is happy.
“It’s a good thing na happy na siya ulit. Happy na siya, happy si Vania, happy na lahat,” she closed. — By Mac Dionisio