Alyssa Valdez says Lady Eagles treating keenly awaited UAAP clash with La Salle as 'just another match'
Alyssa Valdez and the Lady Eagles hope to play more solid after a shaky start to the new year. Dante Peralta

ATENEO looks to play more consistent as the defending champion Lady Eagles battle archrival La Salle Lady Spikers on Sunday in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.

It is the final day of the first round, featuring a tantalizing match between two unbeaten squads.

Alyssa Valdez said the Lady Eagles need to play much better than they did in a scary five-set match against lowly University of the Philippines and the straight-sets win over winless University of the East that apparently wasn’t very satisfactory for the reigning MVP.

“Medyo naging complacent, kahit hindi namin aminin at pansinin it showed sa second set,” said Valdez.

[See Ateneo makes short work of winless UE to keep slate unblemished, gain share of lead with La Salle

“Basically we really have to be consistent, kasi at the end of the day doon din kami babalik eh, sa receive, sa digs, sa basic ng volleyball,” said the reigning MVP.

“’Yung teamwork, ’yung jelling ng team has to be fluid,” she added. “We already played together last year and this year may mga nagdagdag sina Bea (de Leon), Madi (Madayag) and Threse (Gaston).”

Valdez stressed that while there is hype surrounding the Ateneo-La Salle showdown, they are treating it as any other match.

“Ang maganda kasi kay coach Tai (Bundit) pinapa-feel niya sa amin na every game is important and we have to do our best,” said the spiker from San Juan, Batangas. “Ang tinitignan naman namin ang galaw ng kalaban hindi ang team.”

A day before the expected down-the-wire match, Valdez hopes to take a rest from their Thai coach’s Spartan-like training.

“We’re hoping sana na we could rest if good mood si coach Tai,” said the charming volleybelle.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @meilinlozada