Alyssa Valdez says young Philippine team gained a lot in short stint in SEA Games
Alyssa Valdez is proud of the Philippine team despite an early exit after a 1-2 record in the preliminaries. Czeasar Dancel

SINGAPORE — Alyssa Valdez said she and her teammates gained a lot, from match tactics to keeping composed during pressure situations, from the short stint in the 28th Southeast Asian Games.

Twice an MVP in the UAAP and a star of a domestic commercial league, Valdez admitted it takes a lot more to be able to shine on the international stage and she enjoyed the experience.

“We really need a lot of experience para makipagsabayan sa mga top caliber teams,” said Valdez, who finished with 11 points in the Philippines' 25-16, 26-21, 25-23 loss to Vietnam on Saturday in front of a good-sized Filipino crowd at the OCBC Arena Hall 2.

Valdez noted how grizzled attackers picked when to use power, and how veteran teams are able to keep cool and overhaul deficits.

“Sabi nga ng mga coaches, hindi everytime, power. Minsan lagay, lagay lang. And then, ’yung maturity and composure nila, even if we were up, andoon ‘yung composure nila,” Valdez said.

The Philippine team, also featuring Rachel Anne Daquis, Jovelyn Gonzaga and the Santiago sisters Jaja and Dindin, bowed out with a 1-2 record, but Valdez hopes that the country would still be proud of their effort in their first SEA Games appearance in a decade.

“Kinapos tayo pero every Filipino, gusto natin, lumalaban tayo. Sana nakita ng mga tao that we gave our best and we had nothing to lose. We really gained a lot,” Valdez said.

Here's a video of the post-tournament interview:

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports