Army coach on defending Valdez: ‘(Kung) dalawang blocker lang kay Alyssa, hindi uubra’
Alyssa Valdez led all scorers with 25 points, but that wasn't enough to rescue PLDT from absorbing its first loss of the tournament. Jerome Ascano

ALYSSA Valdez managed to score 25 points but Army coach Rico de Guzman said he is actually satisfied with the way the Lady Troopers played defense against the PLDT star in the opener of the Shakey’s V-League Season 12 Open Conference finals.

De Guzman noted that whenever they can, the Lady Troopers put an extra blocker in front of the power-hitting Valdez, and he was pleased with the results.

[See Army Lady Troopers ruin PLDT's quest for V-League sweep with stunning Game One win]

“Napakahirap kalaban ’yung PLDT lalo na ’yung opensa nila,” said De Guzman. “Dalawang blocker lang kay Alyssa, hindi uubra kaya ginagawa namin, kung puwedeng tatlo, tatlo. Umepekto naman. Talagang pinaghirapan namin lalo na ’yung depensa namin.”

De Guzman said “limiting” Valdez wasn’t the only good thing the Lady Troopers did en route to the victory, as they also withstood the power serves of Jaja Santiago, who accounted for six of PLDT’s 10 aces in the match.

“Maka-receive man kami ng apat na service niya (Santiago), siguro isa lang ’yung magandang nagawa namin (sa receive). Pero habang tumatagal, nakapag-adjust kami. Lahat na ng service, nakukuha na namin at nakakakuha na kami ng kombinasyon,” said De Guzman.

Army, however, committed 35 errors in the match but De Guzman is confident that it will be lessened come Game Two.

“Hindi na siguro sila mag-eerror lalo na sa service. Pagdating siguro sa Game Two, ma-rerealize nila na pasok lang ang service,” said De Guzman.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports