THE first showdown of the season between Ateneo and La Salle in the UAAP women's volleyball tournament is a day away and stars Alyssa Valdez and Mika Reyes were asked on what changed from last season.
“It’s part of the training ‘yung scouting and analyzing the game, (but) siguro I’m not in the right perspective to say that (La Salle has become better),” said Valdez, who led the Lady Eagles to a tournament sweep last season on the way to a second successive championship.
“Kasi hindi naman ako nagco-coach, I really don’t know ‘yung fluidity or something like that,” explained the graduating Ateneo star hitter. “Siguro, coaches naman and ‘yung mga tao around (ang makakasagot). Ako player pa lang naman, kailangan ko lang mag-focus sa pagiging player and pagiging teammate.”
Reyes was more certain with her response, saying La Salle is a better team than the one that lost four times to the Lady Eagles last season.
“Lahat (nagbago), ayaw kong mag-specify on something pero siguro naman mag-a-agree mga tao sa akin na we’re better (than) last season,” said the La Salle middle blocker.
Last year, Ateneo swept the La Salle - twice in the elimination round and defeated the Lady Spikers in the Finals in two games, both in straight-sets fashion.
Reyes, 21, who like Valdez is in her final year in the UAAP, revealed the Lady Spikers have put in extra work in training in a bid to put a blemish on Ateneo’s perfect 6-0 win-loss record and halt the Lady Eagles’ 24-game winning run dating back to their Finals faceoff two seasons ago.
“Same sa lahat, may extra lang talaga,” she said. “Sila undefeated, may gagawin kami para sa team nila kasi each and every team naman may gusto kaming gawin para of course matalo sila.”
The fair-skinned volleybelle also believesthey have also become more confident than last season especially with the return of Ara Galang, who missed last year’s finals due to a horror knee injury suffered during their stepladder semifinal series against National U.
“We are more confident than last season,” she said.