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Alyssa Valdez keeps getting better and better
- Updated: September 8, 2015
Bashers will always be an annoying part of whatever field it is that breeds phenoms and superstars, accidental or not. They fester like sores and attack like viruses attack healthy cells. Sometimes they succeed, but more often than not, they don’t.
In the case of volleyball superstar Alyssa Valdez, Saturday’s Player of the Game in the thrilling Ateneo-National University quarterfinal match in the Shakey’s V-League Season 12-Collegiate Conference, the sting of her bashers’ vitriols won’t last, let’s say, even for a minute.
This wonderful ate to her younger teammates on the Ateneo squad has personally woven a bashers-resistant vest to wrap around herself by getting better and better game after game. She used to get points only from her powerful spikes at the frontline and serves, now her arsenal of weapons includes attacks from the back row, deceivingly neat placements, pinpoint blocking, and excellent floor defense. With her rotating to the backline, you have, a men’s coach notes, an extra spiker and an extra libero.
Alyssa even shines brightest when the Ateneo squad is pushed against the wall or faced with formidable obstacles to hurdle, the trademark of a true champion athlete. Her legions of hysterically-shrieking fans still discuss with fresh excitement how their idol had powered Ateneo past NU twice and De La Salle University thrice on its way to capturing its first ever UAAP crown. It was a fluke, the nonbelievers had cried. Alyssa & Co. returned the following season and silenced the critics by resoundingly beating the Lady Spikers in their abbreviated best-of-three title playoff.
And more recently here in the ongoing Shakey’s V-League, the Ateneo psychology graduate twice dug her team out of the hole of impending defeat, confirming her role as the heart and soul of the Katipunan-based squad. Against the alternately-blowing-hot-blowing-cold Lady Blazers, the Lady Eagles inexplicably wilted in the first two sets before Alyssa regained her touch and almost singlehandedly carried her team back to the game and eventual victory, 23-25, 18-25, 25-8, 25-20, 15-10. She finished with 32 points.
Last Tuesday, NU, helped by the eleventh-hour appearance of battle-tested setter Ruby de Leon in its lineup as guest player, looked like they were about to bring unbeatean Ateneo back down to earth, when it breezed through the first set. But the blue-suited Wonder Girl again came to her team’s rescue and succeeded anew. She scored 28 points.
In both games, Alyssa, who has two TV commercials to her name, was chosen Player of the Game for the nth time.
Yes, Alyzza, whose niceness and humility on the court was what led a businesswoman/grandmother to organize a Facebook-based fan club for her, says she always gets thrilled whenever she’s picked as Player of the Game. “Being honored as best player is always a source of joy for me because it means we won the match,” she says while clutching a bunch of fresh flowers to her chest.
Receiving flowers after every game from Alyfinity, the name of the FB fan club, is that part of her phenomenal popularity, she says she enjoys best. “The flowers are given with love and I accept them with equal love.”