Alyssa Valdez had no clue she was going to see Tai Bundit, let alone play under him.
Bundit left his post as head coach of the Creamline Cool Smashers after the 2018 PVL Open Conference. Although Valdez and the rest of the Cool Smashers still got to see him last January during a training camp in Thailand, the five-time PVL MVP was genuinely surprised to see Bundit in Saturday’s All-Star match.
“I had no idea na nandito siya, actually.
“I was really happy na I was under the mentorship of coach Tai and coach Jerry (Yee). Alam niyo naman kung gaano sila ka-competitive,” said the former Ateneo Lady Eagle, who managed 10 points.
Valdez says she barely got to talk to her Thai mentor. Theirs was a tandem that produced two UAAP championships and two V-League crowns. But, in the short time they spent together, they already expressed how much they missed each other.
“Lagi lang ako inaasar ni coach Tai. Very short lang ‘yung usap namin. Pero sa tingin niya pa lang, alam kong na-miss niya ako. Inassume ko lang ‘yun,” the 25-year-old quipped.
“Very thoughtful pa rin siya, nagdadala siya ng pasalubong. Bilin niya lang na dapat ‘di ako papayat and lagi akong kundisyon.”
“Really exciting year. Hindi namin alam kung ano pa ‘yung mga changes na mangyayari sa team from the coaching staff to the players,” the five-time V-League Most Valuable Player expressed.
“Doon pa lang exciting na kasi kaming core ng team, marami kaming matutunan sa mga darating pa.”