Lady Eagles proving there's life after Alyssa Valdez as they exceed Bundit expectations
The Ateneo Lady Eagles are back in the finals in their first tournament without Alyssa Valdez.

IF there's one thing that motivates the Ateneo Lady Eagles the most, it is proving that there is life after Alyssa Valdez. 

Assistant coach Sherwin Meneses said it's definitely difficult to replace someone of Valdez's caliber, but his wards are showing they are up to the task so far after booking a return trip to the Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference finals against National University.

"'Yun 'yung No. 1 mission dito, maka-move on sila na wala si Alyssa," said Meneses after Ateneo's thrilling 25-23, 24-26, 25-19, 25-23 win over FEU in Game Two of their semifinal series on Wednesday.

"Yung posisyon namin ngayon, naghahanap talaga ng kapalit ni Alyssa kaso mahirap talaga palitan ang isang Alyssa," he added.

[See Lady Eagles complete sweep of FEU, reach V-League finals as underdogs]

Meneses also bared that the Lady Eagles have already exceeded head coach Tai Bundit’s modest goals for the midseason conference. 

"Si Coach Tai, kasi nilu-look forward talaga 'yung sa UAAP. Maka-experience nga ng panalo dito, okay na kay coach Tai," he said. 

Still, the real test awaits Ateneo in the finals, where they will take on defending champions National University led by Jaja Santiago on Monday. 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @janbballesteros