This isn’t the first time she will be playing outside of the country, but Alyssa Valdez is incredibly nervous all the same
The Phenom heads off to Chinese Taipei on October 5 to begin preparations for her stint with Attack Line in the Taiwan Volleyball League.
The tournament starts on the second week of October, but Valdez wants to get there early, as she admits that she has no idea what her team is like. This is also her first time going to Taiwan to experience the country’s culture.
This will not be her first dance abroad, however, as she played for 3BB Nakornonnt in the Thailand V-League earlier this year. But Valdez had already experienced Thailand’s culture and volleyball system when she had gone with the Ateneo de Manila University in their annual Thailand training camps.
“Honestly, completely blind ako sa kung anong makikita or mahaharap ko sa Taiwan. It’s really a different story kumpara doon sa Thailand,” the four-time PVL MVP told Tiebreaker Times during Creamline’s fan meet-and-greet, Friday afternoon. “In a way, mas madaling mag-adjust sa way of life sa Thailand.
“Sa Taiwan, this is really my first time to go there. Siguro, ‘yun talaga ‘yung kailangan kong paghandaan talaga. Iba pa ‘yung playing in a different system.”
The 24-year-old has a lot on her mind before going to Taiwan. She contemplates, most of all, missing a lot of time with her family here, as she will be staying in Taiwan until December and will fly back on Christmas day.
“In a way, I’m nervous, excited, and sad all at the same time. Nervous kasi first time ko talaga doon, Excited for what I’m going to learn there, happy kasi opportunities like these are rare, sad kasi I’m going to sacrifice a lot of time sa Taiwan, knowing na malapit na ‘yung Christmas break,” said the native of San Juan, Batangas.
“Yung ganitong age talaga natin is the time to really explore and learn a lot of things because you’re not going to regret anything, at the of the day.”
Still, Valdez is thankful for getting opportunities she never thought she would have.
“Siguro, I had just small goals when I started. Una, it was just to finish a training. Then, magawa ‘yung nga pinagagawa ng mga coaches. I really didn’t think big at that time. Kasi I knew that I wasn’t a fully well-rounded na volleyball player,” reminisced the two-time UAAP champion. “But, sabi nga nila, opportunities come to those who are prepared. So, I think, I was really well-prepared by the people around me and the people who support me. Pero never did I think na aabot ako sa ganito.
“Being exposed, being under very talented coaches ‘yun talaga ‘yung nakapagpaisip sa akin to love the game. Loving the game, siguro, ito ‘yung binigay na reward sa akin.
“I’ll always be thankful to everyone who helped me. It’s really hard to keep going, to continue your journey. Ang daming struggles, ang daming challenges. But, it’s so nice that there are people who help you and guide you towards the path na kailangan mong tahakin,” Valdez stated.