“If we’re not gonna experience something like this, how will we manage get back up again and be on our feet again?”
This was how Alyssa Valdez looked at Ateneo’s heartbreaking loss to rival La Salle, maintaining a positive outlook despite yielding in straight sets.
Without good reception, the Lady Eagles crumbled, failing to create plays that would keep the Taft squad’s blockers on their toes.
This led to La Salle outperforming Ateneo in blocking, 7-2, and even scoring 13 easy points via service aces.
“Definitely, kita naman sa game na we didn’t have good first ball. Siguro ‘yun lang. It’s a matter of kung sino ang mas gustong manalo today,” shared Valdez on what did them in during the match.
“I think it’s more of our own weaknesses as a team and La Salle gave us a very good fight today. They deserve to win,” she added.
Despite all this, Valdez revealed her head coach Tai Bundit still commended liberos Jamie Lavitoria and Gizelle Tan for putting up a good fight.
On external factors affecting their game, the reigning MVP says, “Honestly, we lacked confidence, especially it’s Jamie’s first time to play in a big crowd, and Gizelle, Kim (Gequillana), and Maddie (Madayag).”
“Coach Tai really commended the liberos because even if they played for how many set pa lang, they’re really trying hard to help the team and contribute sa success ng team,” she added.
After the loss, ‘The Phenom’ expects everyone from the team to have extra motivation to train even harder and bounce back.
The end of the team’s celebrated 24-game winning streak, she says, is the least of her concerns.
“Honestly speaking, we never felt that way. That’s the downfall. Kasi iba-iba na yung mga tao. Since season 76 to ngayon, iba na yung mga tao na pumapasok sa winning streak— may nadadagdag, may nawawala,” she shared.
“It was a good run for us, but it really had to stop, and we have to do our best and try to make another one,” she added.
Looking forward to the journey up ahead, the two-time UAAP champion chose to see the glass half-full as they are still on top of the standings with a 6-1 record.
“Kung sino yung team na gusto manalo, ‘yun ang mananalo. It’s just the start for every team because it’s the first round,” Valdez said.
“Second round will be different. Let’s see what will happen,” she closed. — By Mac Dionisio