Despite Ateneo getting the best of La Salle in the last 2 seasons of the UAAP, reigning MVP Alyssa Valdez remains wary coming into Saturday’s matchup, showing no signs of complacency regardless of the team standing.
The Lady Eagles will be having a slight upper hand with a spotless 6-0 record as opposed to their archrivals who have a 4-1 card after dropping their match against NU.
But for Valdez, the Taft squad should not be taken lightly.
“La Salle really has a good system. They’re really prepared every time they go in a game,” shared ‘The Phenom’ when asked about her thoughts on the titanic matchup.
“They’re gonna go back to their system kahit ano mangyari, down man sila o up sila. They have that standard that through the years na-polish nila,” she added.
In the past two years, however, the defending champions have time and again exposed the chinks in the armour of La Salle, all thanks to the genius that is head coach Tai Bundit.
Expecting an intense series of training in the following days, Valdez shares, “Kami rin naman, every game pinaghahandaan namin. Coach Tai pahihirapan din kami para ma-assist kami at ma-guide kami on Saturday.”
Both teams will be heading into war after downing UE in straight sets.
The difference, though, is that La Salle will be coming from a 5-day break while Ateneo will only have two days to prepare for the showdown.
This, according to the skipper, could work for or against any team depending on their mindset.
“Depende ‘yan kung saan sanay ‘yung mga team. It’s an advantage and a disadvantage for the both of us. Ateneo-La Salle iba ang game so let’s see what’s gonna happen on Saturday,” she said.
Asked about her thoughts on the last few Ateneo-La Salle tussles she will have before bidding the UAAP goodbye, Valdez shrugged it off saying she is just out to savour every moment she has in the tournament.
“May ganung factor pero ayoko din isipin na last Ateneo-La Salle ko na itong Season 78,” she told the press. “I’m taking my time and making the most out of the few months na binibigay sa akin.”
“It’s another game for us. Hindi namin masyado iniisip na it’s a big game,” she added. “It’s the last game of the 1st round so it’s mabigat. Hindi ko rin masabai basta let’s see na lang on Saturday.” — By Mac Dionisio