ALYSSA Valdez was enjoying the game so much she didn't realize she was carrying most of the load in Ateneo's 17-25, 21-25, 25-19, 25-21, 15-13 come-from-behind win over La Salle in the "Battle of the Rivals" at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday.
Valdez fired 36 points including the game-sealing, off-the-block shot against Michelle Gumabao and Mika Reyes in the charity game witnessed by thousands of roaring fans wearing blue and green.
"Talagaaaa? Wow!" Valdez said when asked about her explosive outing that didn't come as a surprise for most
"We really enjoyed the game. It's been a while since we played together as a team. Eto yata yung core ng Season 76 and 77 and we're really just happy."
"Buong time tumatawa lang kami. It's one way of catching up na rin. Iba-iba kami ng club teams, yung iba nasa school pa," she added with a smile.
More than the thrill of reuniting with her old teammates at Ateneo, Valdez was just glad they were able to help the scholars of the athletic programs of both schools.
"It's so different to play in an areana na ganto karaming tao. You can't explain what you feel," she said. "More than anything, it's really just for the beneft of every scholar and all the people who supported us.
"Pwede palang yung rivalry magawa natin for others."
Although it's a charity event, Valdez admitted both team still played at a high level so the fans can get their money's worth.
"Parang di naman mawawala yung rivalry. Kahit sabihin natin na it's a charity event, Ateneo and La Salle will always give their all for the supporters," she said.
"Pag pumasok ka ng court, for sure, we’ll enjoy the game pero lalabas at lalabas yung competitiveness at kung ano yung tine-training namin. Lalabas yung tinuturo ng coaches namin na tapusin at irespeto namin yung game, which is dapat bigyan ng magandang laban ang bawat isa."