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Valdez, Tan back for unfinished business



Local volleyball superstar, Alyssa Valdez brought a lot of firsts for Ateneo but the UAAP Beach Volleyball title has eluded her and the Lady Eagles. Every year since her rookie year, Valdez bikinied-up and tried to bring Ateneo to its first beach volleyball title.

The closest she ever got was in Season 74. Valdez and the shifty Bea Tan reached the Finals only to fall in three games to UST’s Judy Caballejo and Maruja Banaticla. A disheartened Tan memorably sobbed in the arms of Valdez after that loss. The following season, Tan and Valdez again paired up but couldn’t get back to the Finals.

Last season, neither played beach volleyball for the Loyola-based squad with Tan sitting the year out and Valdez only suiting up, but never seeing action due to a sickness.

This year, the Tan-Valdez pair is back and looked as deadly as ever in their season opener against the Lady Maroons.

“I’m really lucky to play with Bea again, she came back to play for Ateneo so its an inspiration talaga,” Valdez said.

“I’m thinking lang na I have to play well for Bea and Coach Parley. I’m not really aiming for anything, I just want to play better every day,” Valdez answered when asked about her goals for her final season on the sand.

“There was a little bit of first game jitters. Although we’re already seniors and we should be more seasoned and we should be more stable, di naman natin maiiwasan na kabahan. I’m just really glad to be back and we got our first win,” Tan said when asked how it felt to play her first UAAP game in nearly two years.

Tan has been playing a lot of beach volleyball recreationally in the time she was away from Ateneo. Getting a chance to play in a big tournament is what drew her back to the UAAP she says. The fact that she and Alyssa haven’t trained together often in the weeks leading up to the tournament shouldn’t be too much of a problem for them she believes.

“Alyssa’s very seasoned naman. Her training in indoor volleyball keeps her really fit and she’s alreay really good. The more we play together and she gets used to the sand, we should be good,” Tan said.

Asked if they’re looking to rekindle the same magic they had when they made a Finals run, Tan reiterated the importance of hard work. “Siguro there’s not much magic or miracles involved. Everyone’s really good and it just comes down to who works the hardest and whose willing to push themselves.”

For the schedule nof Ateneo’s remaining games, click here.


Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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