Though Alyssa Valdez is busy helping Ateneo bag the bronze medal in the ASEAN University Games in Singapore, her best friend, Kim Fajardo, was also a winner after being named to the Philippine team that will compete in the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship in October.
Valdez and Fajardo have always been friends since their UST high school days, and even after going separate ways in college, both have always given time and effort to cultivate their friendship.
And when the star La Salle setter was named to the ‘Magnificent 7,’ the 3-time UAAP MVP was thrilled.
“All I can say is I’m super happy for her. I know she would love and is willing to represent and give her all for the country. She deserved it,” she told FOX Sports. “So happy that other countries would see how great she is not only as a setter but a Filipina volleyball player.”
Remembering how their young minds dreamed of playing in the international stage, Valdez believes that Fajardo will be able to accomplish greater things and achieve more than what she has now.
“I think every athlete’s dream is to represent its country. Kim would just be open and wholeheartedly accept the challenge. You know, Kim, she’s very focused, determined to play volleyball but more than that her passion for volleyball since high school is still there. You can still see in her eyes the fire that she’s excited to play the sport every time,” she added.
As Valdez has been representing the country in different competitions like the Asian U23 Volleyball Championship and the SEA Games, Fajardo last played in 2008 for the Asian Youth Volleyball Championships.
“The last time she represented the country was way back 2008. She was pretty amazing back then, what more now. She had a lot of experiences and for sure she would be the one of the leaders of the team,” said the Batangas native.
“Kim is such a veteran player already, she’s surrounded by great players as well who represented the country and is coached by world-class mentors and coaches. I hope she enjoys and will love the sport even more after this.”
With a couple of months left before the FIVB WCWC starts, Valdez hopes that Fajardo will be able to outgrow all the pressure and be able to play her A–game.
“Pressure will always be there not just from the outside or external forces but from herself as well. But for sure, she will use the experiences she got from all her international tournaments and even local tournaments to play and give her best.”
“Furthermore, she’ll be with other veterans and amazing players and coaches who will guide and give her the confidence she needs to show everyone what she can do for the sport,” she ended. — By Joyce Palad