Because of a frantic schedule that saw her playing in Thailand for 3BB Nakornonnt, Alyssa Valdez watched her first Ateneo-La Salle match only today.
The three-time UAAP Most Valuable Player witnessed a short-handed Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles squad upset a hungry De La Salle University-side, much like she had done during her five-year career with the Loyola-based program.
“Everyone played today and contributed to the win.
“But La Salle will always be there, di sila bumibigay until the very end of the match and, ayun lang, very kahit less points ateneo, na minimize nila errors nila and na convert nila and naka-counter sila and nakakadepensa sila,” analyzed the two-time UAAP champion.
The Phenom conceded that she really would have rather played in the match than simply watched, as alumni like her have said before.
“Excited and proud of the girls. I didn’t really look sa game kasi iba ‘pag nasa labas ka, you’d rather really play, ‘di talaga ako tumitingin sa court, nanlalamig ako,” the 23-year-old National Team pool member admitted.
“Mas kinakabahan ako sa labas. Nakita ko na ‘yung sinasabi nang ibang alumni na how they feel when they watch. It’s still fun pero nakakakaba talaga masyado.”
The Lady Eagles have quickly established themselves as title favorites post-Valdez.
Although she dearly misses playing for the blue and white, Valdez believes this batch of Lady Eagles can win the school’s third title.
“It’s really a credit to coach Tai [Bundit’s] system. When everyone buys into it, talagang everyone improves,” said the Creamline Coolbusters skipper.
“Definitely, the girls are working hard and I know they’re doing their best to get the championship.”