WHILE blue and white confetti rained down from the Philsports Arena rafters, tears also fell for Bureau of Customs star Alyssa Valdez.
The 23-year old conference MVP was a picture of disappointment, unable to hold back tears after Pocari Sweat completed a sweep of BoC in the Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference finals with a 14-25, 10-25, 25-22, 25-23 victory on Monday night.
“Siyempre hindi naman maiiwasan (umiyak) every time when you give your best,” the former Ateneo Lady Eagles star said. “It’s really what you love. Siyempre, sino ba naman ang gusto ring matalo?”
[See Pocari Sweat holds off Customs fightback to win V-League title]
The volleyball star cried uncontrollably before her fellow Transformers and former teammates at Ateneo, including Denden Lazaro and Jem Ferrer, consoled her.
“I’m really proud of my teammates, siguro kulang lang, we lacked talaga something,” said Vadlez. “Siguro next conference and kapag magkakasama pa rin kami, we’re gonna work harder para makaabot na rin sa ganito kalayo.”
Despite falling short of a title, Valdez considered their runnerup finish as an overachievement for a first-timer like Customs in the 13-year old league.
“For a first time (team) being in the finals, being a new team siyempre iba pa rin ang pakiramdadam na makapasok ka sa finals lalo na ako with a new team pa,” she said.
“Siguro this is just a motivation and inspiration as an athlete and as a new team, it doesn’t stop here,” she added.
Valdez, regarded as the face of Philippine volleyball's renaissance, has not won a championship this year, having fallen short in the UAAP Season 78, ASEAN University Games in Singapore, and two SVL stints.
But she still considers herself lucky.
“Gaano kabigat (ang taon na ‘to)? You know it’s not really that heavy. With my teammates and with everyone who’s supporting me talaga and it’s a matter of how you recover naman at the end of the day,” she said.
“And I think I’m really lucky to have a good support system and I’m really lucky kahit anong mangyari nandyan pa rin ang mga taong nanonood sa atin, nandito pa rin tayong lahat, we’re all blessed after all,” she added.