ALYSSA Valdez has dedicated the MVP award she won in the Shakey’s V-League Season 12 Open Conference to her adoring fans – who she affectionately refers to as volleyball’s seventh man.
“Oo naman (ino-offer ko sa fans ang panalong ito) kasi lagi ko nga sinasabi na ang fans ang seventh man ng volleyball,” said Valdez during Sunday’s awarding ceremony that preceded Game Two of the finals between PLDT and defending champion Philippine Army.
“Kapag hindi maganda ang performance ng team, lahat kami down na, (pero) sila (fans) ang bumubuhay sa amin. Iba ang mga sigaw nila.”
Valdez likewise gave credit to her teammates and coaches for making it possible for her to win the latest individual honor, to add to the two UAAP MVP plums she copped the past two seasons.
Still, nothing beats the support the pride of San Juan, Batangas gets from her loyal followers that grow by the day.
“They're (fans) there all out. We're not related but they spend their time, their money and effort, so we're really thankful. Without them we're not here,” said Valdez, who was also named the league's First Best Outside Spiker.
“Hindi naman kami masusulat, hindi kami maiinterview, wala rin magbabasa. Honestly, 'di ba?”
Valdez led the Ultra Fast Hitters with 26 points as they stretched the best-of-three title series to a winner-take-all on Sunday following their 25-16, 25-22, 19-25, 25-16 thumping of the defending champion Lady Troopers in Game Two.
At the same time, the Ateneo superstar took the opportunity to appeal for fans not to curse and say bad words against supporters of other players.
“We have to respect everyone's opinion,” said Valdez. “We have to be smart and sensitive sa feelings ng ibang tao.”
As a parting shot, Valdez said she does not feel she disappoints her fans whenever her team loses.
“I don’t think naman nadi-disappoint sila,” said Valdez, referring to her multitude of fans, who go out of their way, some coming from far-flung provinces just to watch her play live.
“Kasi they love the sport, they love the players, so manalo man or matalo babalik at babalik sila,” she said.