New UAAP women's volleyball scoring leader Alyssa Valdez pays tribute to her high school coaches
Ateneo star Alyssa Valdez won three UAAP titles during her high school days at UST. Dante Peralta

ALYSSA Valdez has now soared to the top of the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament scoring list shortly just before the end of the first round of eliminations.

The charming Ateneo star now has a total of 155 points for the top spot after Valdez scored 23 points in the Lady Eagles’ win over University of the East Lady Warriors.

She surpassed previous leader Ara Galang of rival school De La Salle.

The Lady Spikers’ team captain fell to third place with 126 points, just three points shy of Jaja Santiago of National University, who is in second (129).

An elated Valdez though was quick to deflect the credit, paying tribute to former coaches during her high school days which she calls her ‘daddys’ for helping her realize her dreams.   

With a bright smile on her face, the reigning UAAP women’s MVP recalls her at University of Santo Tomas where it all began as she learned from no less than former mentors Francis Vicente and Kungfu Reyes.

“I’m really proud si Sir Vince kasi ang daddy ko at si coach Kungfu,” said the pride of San Juan, Batangas, who steered the UST high school girls volleyball team to three consecutive UAAP titles during her stay with the Espana-based school.

The former two-time juniors MVP recalled how Vicente and Reyes patiently taught her the sport that made her the star that she is today.

“Sobra akong nagpapasalamat kasi pinag-tiyagaan nila ako kung hindi dahil sa kanila wala ako dito ngayon,” said Valdez. “Dahil ito sa kanila.”

When Valdez carried the Lady Eagles to their first ever UAAP title, she didn’t forget to acknowledge and greet her former coach on national TV.

“Syempre naman sa kanya din naman ako nagsimula, nagtiyaga sila sa akin,” she said. “Pag nga may bagong player sa Ateneo na tinuturuan ni coach Tai (Bundit) nakikita ko 'yung sarili ko na hindi rin marunong dati.”

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