Jersey story: Alyssa Valdez loves No. 2, but she won't settle for second best
Ateneo star Alyssa Valdez has worn the No. 2 since joining the Lady Eagles in the UAAP. Jerome Ascano

THEY'RE more than mere numbers, and there's more to them than meets the eye.

From important dates in their lives to lucky numbers to mere coincidence, there's usually a compelling story behind the numbers your favorite players wear on their backs.

And more often that not, these stories will either surprise you or make you feel closer to their cage idols.

Here's No. 4 of our Jersey Story series:

IN the book Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom, Morrie asked, “What’s wrong with being number two?”

Indeed, there is nothing wrong with being No. 2 as proven by Ateneo Lady Eagle Alyssa Valdez, who is considered one of the best lady volleyball players in the country today.

The Ateneo star has been wearing jersey No. 2 for three years in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament, where she has steered the Lady Eagles to three straight Finals appearances capped by a championship last year - a first in Ateneo’s history.

“Siguro nabigyan ko ng ibang meaning ‘yung No. 2,” a smiling Valdez told Spin.ph.

“Kasi regardless of the number, No. 1 man ‘yan or what, nakikita naman ng tao kung anong klase kang tao inside and outside the court,” she added.

“And the fact na binibigay mo ‘yung best mo sa lahat ng oras that’s enough for you to be No. 1. So sa akin walang kaso kung anong number pa ‘yan” she continued.

The 21-year old Ateneo skipper, however, revealed that wearing No. 2 at Ateneo was a mere coincidence.

After the pride of San Juan, Batangas graduated from University of Santo Tomas high school where she wore jersey No. 9, Valdez had to give up her the number given to her by former mentor Francis Vicente.

“Wala na kasing iba eh,” she recalled with a smile. “Kasi after ko sa UST, No. 9 ako noon, paglipat ko sa Ateneo meron ng (may gamit sa jersey number) nine. Eh (jersey number) two ang natira so ‘yun na kinuha ko.”

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

But in the course of the interview, the fifth year psychology major thought of something that could mesh both her high school and college jersey numbers to her personal life.

“Two and nine… ah, birthday ko kasi June 29, so two and nine,” she said.

But Valdez added, “Never ko naman naisip na second best ako dahil number two. I think wala naman 'yun sa number. Kung ano pinapakita mo, i-a-appreciate ka ng mga tao.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @meilinspin