Alyssa Valdez is one of the Philippines’ most promising young volleyball athletes. Some would even go so far as to call her the Philippines’ best volleyball player. True to her moniker, ‘The Phenom’, she has dominated the local volleyball scene for two years, winning back-to-back UAAP volleyball championships, as well as helping her current team, the PLDT Home Ultera Ultra Fast Hitters to an unblemished record heading into the Shakey’s V-League Finals.
Just a few weeks ago, in the AVC Under-23 volleyball tournament, she scored a blistering 31 points in the Philippines’ first international competition under its new federation, the LVPI. She was able to lead her team to a modest seventh place finish after defeating Iran in their last match of that tournament.
Since that whirlwind tournament, however, Alyssa has battled numerous maladies that have lingered for weeks, and while she has been feeling a little better, her sickness has not yet completely healed.
“Hindi ko nga alam kung bakit hindi ako [gumagaling]. Better naman at least, hindi na yung katulad nung last time na sobrang init, nagkakafever. Sipon nalang and ubo.”
“Nung under-23 pa, hindi pa siguro nakakarecover. Sana nga may rest after the SEA games. Sana, sana. Kasi diba second conference ata after the SEA games naman? So hopefully makakapag-rest naman,” shared Alyssa.
The problem for Alyssa is she hasn’t had any real rest since she won her first UAAP championship, and she’s yearning for that chance to finally get some rest.
“Two years non-stop, ngayon pang third year na. Oh my God.”
“We had a ‘break’. A week, every Holy Week we don’t do anything. But siyempre as an athlete you have to maintain your weight and your condition, so we run din as much as possible. Sanayan lang din eh, sanayan ng katawan,” said Alyssa. “Sana, hopefully, after everything, after the SEA games, we’ll have all the time to rest and enjoy.”
It seems like her body is telling her to take a break, get some rest, and spend some time off to recover. But she can’t rest just yet, since the SEA Games is just around the corner. And while her body may be complaining, her mind and heart are fully focused on the task at hand.
“Siguro nagrereklamo na din katawan ko. Pero wala eh, you have to sacrifice. I have to sacrifice for the country and the team. I really love what I’m doing, that’s why I’m here din. It’s worth it kahit anong mangyari, it’s going to be worth it naman. I really love the team, I really love what I’m doing, and I really love all the people that support volleyball. It’s all inspiration and motivation.”