CREAMLINE star Alyssa Valdez is excited to face alma mater Ateneo-Motolite for the first time in their much-anticipated showdown in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference on Sunday at the Baliwag Star Arena in Baliuag, Bulacan.
For the first time since graduating in UAAP Season 78, the most recognizable Ateneo women’s volleyball player and now Cool Smasher takes on the current batch of Lady Eagles led by Kat Tolentino, Bea De Leon, and Maddie Madayag in their 6:30 p.m. match.
Valdez, together with fellow former Lady Eagles Jia Morado and Fille Cainglet-Cayetano, are going to test the mettle of Ateneo-Motolite that currently shares a seat on top with Creamline and BanKo, which will battle Pocari Sweat-Air Force at 4 p.m.
All three pacesetters are tied with 5-1 win-loss records and Valdez is proud that her former teammates Tolentino, De Leon, Madayag, Kim Gequillana, and Deanna Wong are able to match the level of the top club teams in the PVL.
“I’m really proud sa girls talaga I think they are really doing well. They’re leaders of their own ways din,” said the three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player, who steered the school to its first two volleyball titles in Seasons 76 and 77. “Grabe makikita natin really heart strong until the end kahit anong mangyari, veteran team kahit anong kalaban nila nilalabanan talaga nila. So it shows na maganda talaga tinatakbo ng team nila.”
But the four-time league MVP together with Morado and Cayetano will be on the opposing side leading the Cool Smashers also bannered by Jema Galanza, Risa Sato, Coleen Bravo, and Melissa Gohing.
And Valdez hopes that the young Lady Eagles will learn something from their first round battle.
“I’m very excited siyempre iba pa rin pag ikaw nakasuot ng jersey, iba pa rin yung pride naman madadala mo every game,” she said.
“We hope na may matutunan din sila sa amin siyempre for sure they gonna fight hard kasi kahit mga ate nila gusto din nila makita namin na may natututunan sila so good luck sa amin.”
De Leon and Madayag, on the other hand, are excited to face their ‘ates’ but once they enter the court as Ateneo-Motolite coach Oliver Almadro instructed them, they mean business.
“Kilala namin isa't isa. It's going to be a good game for us. First time din naming makakalaban sila officially,” De Leon said.
Madayag, De Leon's fellow senior, agreed.
“Like what coach O, said naman friends namin sila sa labas, mga ate namin sila sa labas pero sa loob kalaban namin sila,” she said. “Kasi pagdating namin sa game, yung team naman namin yung pinaglalaban namin. Hindi naman yung friendship namin pero after naman ng game we’re still friends.”