FORMER Ateneo star Alyssa Valdez says the Lady Eagles are very capable of reclaiming UAAP women’s volleyball crown without her, saying Thai coach Tai Bundit’s system is effective regardless who plays.
Valdez said her departure, along with Denden Lazaro and Amy Ahomiro, hardly weakened the squad, noting that the holdovers made huge improvements.
“The system is still there, coach Tai (Bundit) is still there, other girls nadagdagan ng talent,” said Valdez.
Now the squad led by Michelle Morente, Jhoana Maraguinot, Kat Tolentino and Jia Morado are back in the semifinals, and Valdez believes they can reclaim the title as long as they stick to the system that earned Ateneo championships in 2014 and 2015.
“‘Di naman ‘yun sa kung may maaalis, definitely sa system na nag se-stay sa team (ang dahilan),” said Valdez.
“Ateneo is really adapting very well sa system na ginagawa ni coach Tai,” said Valdez, who had a short stin in the Thailand league and will see action in the local commercial league Premier Volleyball League with Creamline.
Valdez also said she not surprised to see that even young players, led by rookie Jules Samonte, are doing well to help Ateneo get back on track for the title.
“Noong pagpasok ni Jules sa Ateneo, noong nag training siya, siya talaga baby namin, very hard working talaga (siya), kung ano papagawa ni coach Tai gagawin niya,” she said.
“She never gives up, hard work nag pay off na and we’re really happy lahat kami proud kay Jules,” she added.
Top seed and twice-to-beat Ateneo will face No. 4 Far Eastern University in the on April 23 at the MOA Arena.