FOR the first time in a long while, Alyssa Valdez will step out of her comfort zone when she plays for the Bureau of Customs in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Reinforced Conference starting on October 1.
The former Ateneo star is leaving the Lady Eagles' nest to test the waters in the 'real world' as she joins a Customs team that includes Thai imports Natthanicha Jaisaen and Kanjana Kuthaisong, who are expected to arrive on Sunday.
Rizza Mandapat from National University, Fenela Emnas of Adamson, Menchie Tubiera, Andrea Marzan and Jonalyn Ibisa from Arellano, Jonah Corpuz of San Sebastian and former University of the Philippines standout Michiko Castaneda are the other new teammates of the former UAAP MVP.
“This is my first time really to go out of my comfort zone,” said Valdez, sounding excited over the new endeavor. “Different team, different coaching staff and it’s really exciting and challenging at the same time.”
Valdez steered Ateneo to two championships and three runner-up finishes while teaming up with Jem Ferrer and Jia Morado as setters in Ateneo and Fille Cainglet-Cayetano, Gretchen Ho, Dzi Gervacio, Jhoana Maraguinot and Michelle Morente as her fellow spikers.
She also had mostly Lady Eagles as teammates in stints with Bali Pure and PLDT in the V-League.
Now she's spreading her wings.
“Kasi first time ko nga na malalayo from the teammates ko before and iba rin talaga ang system and culture outside (of Ateneo),” she said. “But it’s really exciting kasi I learn a lot of things. I get to experience a lot of things and siguro it’s one way na siguro, a sign or a symbol na nasa real world na din talaga ako.”
Valdez expects a lot of adjustments, both on her part and for her new teammates in the new V-League team that will be handled by Sherwin Meneses and Parley Tupaz..
“Siyempre, its different kasi I’ve been playing with my (Ateneo) teammates ever since noong college talaga. Ngayon first time kong makakalaro ang mga teammates ko ngayon na never kong na-meet before, during the games lang sa UAAP but aside from that it’s a challenge also to play with imports also,” she continued.
But Valdez is up for the challenge.
“We have to adjust all the time and ‘yung circumstances naman hindi palagi pare-parehas. So ganoon lang, we just have to communicate,” she said. “If you are open, lahat kami open sa possibilities, sa lahat ng pwedeng mangyari inside the court doon nagi-start ang adjustment within the team.”