ATENEO star Alyssa Valdez would rather focus on the goal rather than count down the days in her final year as a college player in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.
The 22-year old back-to-back MVP, whose team just secured twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs after a 25-16, 25-16, 25-18 demolition of Adamson at the weekend, is one of three Ateneo mainstays - along with Amy Ahomiro at Mae Tajima - playing their final year of eligibility in the UAAP.
But even with only two games left in their eliminations schedule and her final playoff appearance in the college league looming in the horizon, Valdez assured she is focused on the present and not looking back at the past.
“Kiwi, ako and si Mae, we think one game at a time. It’s a long journey pa, hindi pa naman natatapos these last two games, ‘di ba? So meron pang another round, another chapter,” said Valdez, whose team faces UE on April 6 before winding down their eliminations schedule against archrival La Salle on April 10.
“Malayo pa talaga, and come to think of it, hindi pa [naman] natatapos sa last two games ng eliminations,” added the pride of San Juan, Batangas.
Both Ateneo and La Salle have secured twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four and will know in the coming week which team they will face in the playoffs.
Valdez is not thinking that far ahead and is so focused on the drive for a third successive UAAP title that there is no room for sentimentality in her outlook.
“We have to stay focused pa, eyes on the goal and sa priorities pa rin. So ayun wala, ‘wag muna natin isipin na last two games na ng elims, malayo pa. Dadating at dadating naman lahat sa semis.”