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Valdez foiled by ex-teammates

Alyssa Valdez and her former teammates at Ateneo have a special relationship – they treat each other like members of one big family.

Despite their bonding, they were all business when they clashed against each other late Wednesday in the Shakey’s V-League Season 13 Reinforced Conference with Valdez now playing for newcomer Bureau of Customs, while her ex-Ateneo teammates were playing for BaliPure.

The BaliPure Water Defenders harbored no ill-feeling towards Valdez, but they played with more fire and passion that they prevailed over Valdez’s Customs, 26-24, 25-21, 25-21 at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

Amy Ahomiro & Alyssa Valdez

Amy Ahomiro & Alyssa Valdez

Imports Kaylee Manns and Katie Morrell provided big help but the one that helped BaliPure secure the win was the familiarity of the past and present Ateneo players’ with the moves of their idol.

That’s mainly the reason why Valdez was held to just 16 points after setting a league record of 39 in Customs’ last outing against Laoag.

The multi-titled UAAP Most Valuable Player admitted that BaliPure’s familiarity with her play contributed to the loss.

Besides, BaliPure is also coached by Lady Eagles mentor Tai Bundit.

“It’s volleyball. Someone’s gonna win; someone’s gonna lose,” said Valdez.

“It’s a challenge for all of us kasi we know each other on and off the court. Like, sa akin, alam nila kung kailan ako magda-drop ball. Si coach Tai, alam din niya. Pero at the end of the day, kailangan mong maging professional,” added the 22-year-old.

BaliPure standout Amy Ahomiro, who won two UAAP titles with Valdez at Ateneo, said their matchup with the Valdez-led Transformers made it hard for them to secure a win.

“We have to forget that we were teammates before, so we’re really competing against each other. The whole game it was point for point. It was a hard game,” Ahomiro said.

Indeed, the match was intense despite BaliPure sweeping Customs in three sets. The Water Defenders toughened up their floor defense and counterattacks, especially with the help of Manns and Morrell.

“We were really preparing for her (Valdez) because her attacks are incredible. But we also prepared for the whole Customs team as well,” said Charo Soriano.

“We know she’s (Valdez) going to get points, but we also made sure that the other (Customs) hitters were controlled,” added Manns.