EVEN Ateneo star Alyssa Valdez is saddened by the spate of injuries that hounded rival De La Salle in the midst of the ongoing UAAP Season 77 women’s volleyball playoffs.
Although in a celebratory mood following the Lady Eagles’ Game One victory, Valdez still can’t help but feel for her fellow players from the other side who were hit by injuries.
The Lady Spikers entered the finals without top gunner Ara Galang, who suffered tears in the ACL, MCL, and medial meniscus, and bone bruise in her left knee.
During the course of the finals opener, Camille Cruz also hurt her right knee in the third set of La Salle’s 25-18, 25-19, 25-19 loss.
Although a gag order had been issued on the entire Lady Eagles team preventing them from discussing the injury and absence of Galang, Valdez gave her take on the injuries that befell the Lady Spikers during the post-game interview.
“We are very sad. Quality player kasi ‘yung naa-accident,” said the two-time Ms. Volleyball awardee of the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA).
“Pero we can’t do anything about it kasi it’s an accident,” said Valdez, who even approached Cruz at the La Salle bench by the end of Game One to console the La Salle player.
Galang could miss a maximum of eight months to fully recover from the injury. She is currently waiting for the swelling to subside before undergoing reconstructive surgery.
As of post time, Cruz is scheduled to undergo an MRI on his right knee at the Makati Medical Center.
Valdez, however, is confident Galang and Cruz could recover from their respective injuries.
“It’s part of the game. It’s a challenge for them. But the girls are very strong. Their mindset is not to give up,” Valdez said.
But at the same time, the native of San Juan, Batangas said the Lady Eagles are not losing their focus on the task at hand, which is to retain their title.
“Ang mindset kasi ng team is on the game, hindi namin iniisip (ang outside sa team). More on we’re making a goal to play happy and enjoy kahit anong mangyari sa team,” she said.
“But Ara Galang is Ara Galang, we just have to focus on our game and stay happy in and out of the court,” added the Ateneo skipper.