ALYSSA Valdez is set to rejoin PLDT as the Ultra Fast Hitters battle Philippine Army in the finals of the Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference on Saturday at The Arena in San Juan.
"She told me she'll play," said PLDT coach Roger Gorayeb on Thursday.
The Open Conference and Collegiate Conference MVP, Valdez missed the entire elimination round and semifinals as she took an extended vacation to rest a nagging back injury after the UAAP beach volleyball tournament.
"It will mean more attacking options for us with Alyssa back," said Gorayeb.
The opener of the best of three series is set at 3 p.m.
Valdez will further boost the PLCT side boasting of American imports Victoria Hurtt and Sareea Freeman, who debuted for the Ultra Fast Hitters in their last match of the eliminations. Gorayeb then rested his reinforcements in the team’s lopsided 25-11, 25-17, 25-17 victory over University of the Philippines in the semifinals.
The veteran coach, however, stressed Army will be tough to beat since the players have been together for a while.
"We're taller, yes. But they're a more experienced team and they've been together longer than us," said Gorayeb, who lost to Army, 23-25, 25-23, 11-25, 25-19, 13-15, in their first-round match.
Army made it through by sinking Navy, 25-16, 25-10, 25-22, in the other Final Four contest.
The Lady Troopers boast of Jovelyn Gonzaga, Aby Marano, Honey Royse Tubino and Mary Remy Joy Palma and ace setter Tina Salak.
Aside from Hurtt, Freeman and Valdez, Home Ultera has several new players in former league MVP Aiza Pontillas and Janine Marciano.