SHOULD Ateneo retire Alyssa Valdez's No. 2 jersey?
Debate over that topic has raged on social media at the end of one of the most celebrated volleyball careers seen in the UAAP - one that saw Valdez win two league championships, three MVP awards, and reach the finals in each of her five seasons in Ateneo's blue and white.
Lady Eagles team manager Tony Boy Liao admitted he is aware of the strong clamor from fans for Valdez to be accorded the honor by the Katipunan-based school, adding he will definitely recommend that Valdez’s jersey be retired.
“I will recommend strongly (that her jersey be retired),” said the Ateneo official. “She played for five years and in all those years, the Lady Eagles were in the Finals.”
There is just one hitch, though.
Unlike rival La Salle which has retired jerseys of top basketball players (Lim Eng Beng) and volleyball stars (Manilla Santos), Ateneo has not retired a single jersey despite the long line of top athletes in the school's history, according to team officials.
Liao said he expects a panel to discuss his proposal but even before it could come to that, Valdez insisted she felt there are Ateneo athletes more deserving of the honor than her.
“I guess, may ano pa, may sinilang pa na mas deserving nai-retire ‘yung jersey,” said the hard-hitting spiker. “Ateneo naman, they’re not focusing on the talent and the person, it’s the totality of the person. I bet I’m also thinking the same way.”
With or without the honor, Valdez said she will forever be grateful to Ateneo.
“I’m really thankful for Ateneo for everything they’ve done for me and personally, naniniwala ako na may dadating pa na mas deserving i-retire ‘yung jersey niya," said the pride of San Juan, Batangas.
"Nandito lang ako to support,” she added.