FIVE years in the UAAP, five finals appearances, three MVPs, two championships and gunning for a third one. Yet Ateneo star Alyssa Valdez says the best things that happened in her collegiate career happened not on the court but off it.
For the past weeks of the UAAP Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament, Valdez has eluded questions about her final playing year. But on the eve of her last game, the volleyball darling admitted the thought of bidding the college game goodbye is starting to sink in.
Valdez admitted it will be hard to say goodbye to the 'best chapter' of her life, saying she enjoyed every moment of her great UAAP career that saw Ateneo lose to La Salle in her first two seasons then beat its arch-rival the next two years with Valdez at the forefront.
“First year ako swept kami ng La Salle," said the 22-year old pride of San Juan, Batangas, looking back at her biggest moments on court. "Second year ko nanalo kami Game One (pero natalo rin), third year super unexpected nanalo kami, fourth year na-sweep namin.
“Ito iba na naman," she said of the deciding game against La Salle on Saturday, "t’s really a good story, it's gonna be one of the best chapters of my life, it’s how you end the chapter no matter what happens.”
She may have enjoyed one of the greatest careers seen in UAAP volleyball, but Valdez said it's the little things that she will miss the most once she graduates.
“Mamimiss ko? Siguro the stress ng pag magkakasabay finals ng school and ng volleyball at training kami,” said Valdez. “’Yung tingin namin it’s really a big problem, but it’s not.
Parang your college life feeling mo problemadong problemado ka na tapos paglabas mo sa real world, sasabihin mo, ‘Oh my God, that’s a problem?’”
“And the little things na ginagawa namin as a team na simpleng bonding, simpleng kainan, simpleng kulitan,” she added.
This early, a lot of fans, and teams, are anticipating the Queen Eagle's move to the commercial leagues, but Valdez said there will be nothing like the UAAP wars.
“Iba kasi pag UAAP,” she said. “Compared to other leagues, when you go to professional volleyball, it’s really different, the felling. Playing with your college teammate, it’s always different.”