ALYSSA Valdez delivered the goods for Bali Pure as it survived a scare from University of the Philippines, 20-25, 25-22, 15-25, 25-17, 15-12, in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan on Monday.
In her first game with the Purest Water Defenders after a European trip, Valdez had to lead the team back from a set down twice before holding off a last-ditch UP comeback by coming through with the crosscourt winner.
“Super struggle also kasi first time kong magiging teammates ‘yung iba kasi iba rin talaga ang feeling na nagte-training ka everyday, pupunta ka sa game na kumpleto,” said the former Ateneo star, who teamed up with playing coach Charo Soriano for the first time.
“But I think it’s really important ‘yung pinagsamanah ng isa’t-isa sa loob ng court and I think ‘yun ang nakapag-pull sa amin sa game today,” added Valdez, who poured in 26 points, anchored on 23 spikes..
The Purest Water Defenders gained momentum from the fourth set and blazed to a 4-0 start in the decider. They even widened the gap, 10-2, behind the combined efforts of Valdez, Soriano and Grethcel Soltones.
UP came with a quick 2-0 spurt to stop the bleeding but Dzi Gervacio halted the Lady Maroons’ momentum, 11-4.
From a 7-14, deficit, Isa Molde kept UP in play with four straight points, 11-14, and the Maroons came even closer as Soltones’ attack hit the net, 12-14. Valdez, however, sealed the victory for Bali Pure with the winning spike.
“Medyo mabagal ang start, we were very, very hesitant but eventually we picked up our game. Nag-usap usap po lahat and we motivated each other,” said Soriano. “So napakasaya po namin na at last Bali pure is complete.”
Bali Pure cruised to its third consecutive win after losing to Air Force in its first game. The Purest Water Defenders are now tied with the Jet Spikers (3-1).
Soltones added 15 points for Bali Pure, while Amy Ahomiro chipped in 10.
UAAP Season 78Rookie of the Year Isa Molde led the Lady Maroons with 22 points, anchored on 18 hits, while skipper Kathy Bersola added 19, including nine blocks, and Justine Dorog contributed 10.
UP, which dropped to 1-3 tied with Iriga, manned the net better with 14 blocks compared to three of Bali Pure.