Alyssa Valdez says Pocari Sweat presents ultimate test for young Customs side
Alyssa Valdez says the toughest challenge still lies ahead for Customs. Jerome Ascano

AFTER a rough start to the Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference, Alyssa Valdez and Bureau of Customs are one step away from a maiden championship.

“Syempre it’s been super long road na pinagdaanan namin talaga," said Valdez, whose team had to endure the absence of two Thai imports early in the conference and had to battle back from a 0-1 deficit against Bali Pure in their semifinal series.

But that only makes Wednesday night's 25-21, 25-16, 24-26, 8-25, 15-8 victory over Bali Pure - and a trip to the finals - all the more sweeter for Valdez and her new teammates, who are on the cusp of winning a title right in their first season in the pioneering league.

[See Customs regains composure to beat Bali Pure in do-or-die match]

"Ngayon konti na lang talaga, konting lakad or takbo or sprint andoon na rin kami sa dulo,” said Valdez, who finished with 16 points and 17 digs in a win fashioned out against longtime teammates who now comprise the nucleus of Bali Pure.

The 23-year old outside hitter from San Juan, Batangas, however, is not about ready to slow down, knowing a best-of-three finals against a stacked and veteran-laden Pocari Sweat is the supreme test for her young squad.

“Kung we’re working hard for the past month, we really have to work double time ending this season kasi (it’s hard) going up against Pocari Sweat talaga,” said Valdez.

“They’re really strong, they’re veterans, they’re a well-experienced team. They work as a team so it’s really a hard challenge for us to play against them,” she added.

Game One of the Finals is on Saturday.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @meilinlozada