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PVL leaders, Alyssa Valdez offer words of encouragement to undrafted players: ‘This is just the beginning’

Undrafted players from the inaugural Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Rookie Draft did not go home empty-handed on Tuesday night, as key figures in the league imparted valuable lessons that can help them in their future careers.

Creamline star and former league MVP Alyssa Valdez personally spoke with the undrafted players at the far side of the venue, ensuring they understood that this is only the beginning of their careers, not the end.

“Oo nga, well I said, alam mo yun, we all want them to be part of the community. They’re still part of the community, free agent sila ngayon. I told them this is just a stepping stone for them para abutin yung mga dreams nila to be a part of any teams in the PVL,” said Valdez.

“It’s just the beginning. This is the first draft, so marami pa silang opportunities na mapupuntahan at mag-oopen sa kanila. Kapit lang, tiyaga lang, and work harder and smarter,” she added.

PVL president Ricky Palou and commissioner Sherwin Malonzo also consoled the undrafted participants, encouraging them not to lose hope and to try out for teams.

“We’re happy for everybody, we’re just sorry for those who were not drafted. After the draft, I went to talk to the players who are not drafted and I told them that this is not the end. Pwede pa naman kayong maglaro sa PVL, ngayon you are free to try out for any team since free agent kayo,” said Palou.

“I told them also na those who got drafted, hindi pa naman sila sigurado na papasok sila sa team that drafted them. So [the undrafted players] are free agents, they can try out for any team so sana they don’t lose hope,” he added.

PVL-Draft-2 PVL leaders, Alyssa Valdez offer words of encouragement to undrafted players: 'This is just the beginning' News PVL Volleyball  - philippine sports news

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A total of 24 players went unselected in the first-ever draft, with 23 players getting picked from the first to fourth rounds.

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The La Salle quartet of Thea Gagate (ZUS Coffee), Leila Cruz (Capital1), Julia Coronel (Galeries Tower), and Maicah Larroza (Farm Fresh) were picked first to fourth in the opening round of the festivities.

Arellano’s Lorraine Pecaña was the first NCAA player off the board, with Choco Mucho selecting her 11th overall, while Danivah Aying of the University of San Jose-Recoletos was the surprise of the draft, with Galeries selecting her as the last pick.

Undrafted prospects included UP’s Abi Goc and UE’s Dara Nierva and Dea Villamor. La Salle products Caroline Santos and Ysabela Bakabak were also not drafted. Fil-Canadian Nathalie Ramacula was another notable undrafted player.

The free agents pool also includes Letran’s Daisy Melendres and Bay Anne de Leon; Arellano’s Robbie Mae Matawaran, Donnalyn Paralejas, and Charmina Dino; EAC’s Catherine Almazan; Lyceum’s Camille Belaro; San Beda’s Maxinne Tayag and Lalaine Arizapa; San Sebastian’s Jewelle Bermillo; Perpetual Help’s Razel Aldea and Sandra Dayao; Lovely Zapf and Lian Macasiray from DLSU-Dasmarinas; Andrea Jardio of Lyceum-Alabang; Jamie Solina from Marinduque State; and Danya Casino of Trinity.

“Finally we’re all here. Who would’ve thought na aabot tayo sa ganitong point in our lives also. Being part of the volleyball community, akala natin, maglalaro lang tayo until college, but now, we’re really legit na pro with all this drafting,” said Valdez.

“So we’re just very, very happy for the league itself, we’re happy for the players, we’re happy for all the team owners, kasi siyempre lahat naman tayo magbe-benefit din dito. Ako, napapa-proud ako kasi napaka-successful ng first-ever draft ngayong taon, kaya naman excited na kami sa mga magpapa-draft ulit next year, we’re very excited for all of you.”

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