Alyssa Valdez says it was inspiring to see rivals come together for flag and country
The recently-assembled Philippine team makes waves in the tough continental competition. Czeasar Dancel

ALYSSA Valdez admitted fatigue set in during the Philippines' campaign in the Asian Under-23 Women’s Volleyball tournament, but was impressed with how her teammates handled themselves under pressure.

“What’s really inspiring is to play with these girls,” said Valdez, the Philippine team skipper. “Galing kami sa iba’t-ibang school naglalaro as one, makikita mo lang sila everyone’s playing, naka-smile, it's really inspiring.”

The hastily-assembled Philippine team got as far as the quarterfinals, but the inexperience showed when the Filipinas were ranged against the continent’s top teams.

The team, however, finished with a flourish, beating Iran to finish in seventh place in the 12-team tournament.

[See Philippines ends Asian U23 campaign with a bang, takes seventh place with straight-sets win over Iran]

Valdez was with fellow Lady Eagles Jia Morado, Bea de Leon, Ella de Jesus, and Jhoana Maraguinot as well as Ateneo recruit Risa Sato in the team.

They were joined by National University standouts Jaja Santiago and Myla Pablo, University of Santo Tomas pair Ria Meneses and EJ Laure, Far Eastern University libero Tin Agno and San Sebastian College Gretcel Soltones, the NCAA MVP.

Valdez said the camaraderie was something she will remember from this team.

“It’s really hard but luckily and fortunately we won,” said Valdez, who revealed she and teammates had some rare time off practice on Friday and decided to relax by taking a swim.

“We went to the pool to relax kasi we had time yesterday,” said the 21-year old Valdez.

[See Alyssa Valdez assures swollen thumb won't keep her out]

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