Bali Pure solved the puzzle that was Alyssa Valdez in dealing Customs a 3-set sweep in the Shakey’s V-League Reinforced Conference Wednesday night at the Philsports Arena.
Well prepared for a spiker that scored 39 points in her last game, the Purest Water Defenders lived up to their moniker by putting up a wall on Valdez en route to the 26-24, 25-21, 25-21 triumph.
Charo Soriano said the team worked on how to neutralize the impact of the 3-time UAAP MVP and their ploy proved to be fruiful.
“We were really preparing for her mainly because we know that her prowess in terms of attacking is incredible. She’s a Phenom for that reason,” she said. “We really worked on our defense a lot and then we worked on our counterattack more.”
And while stopping Valdez is close to impossible, Soriano said the team worked double time to minimize the former’s influence on the court.
Valdez just scored 16 points while import Kanjana Kuthaisong had the same output for the Transformers, who suffered their first loss.
Her numbers were a far cry from the V-League record of 39 she set just a week before against Laoag, and Soriano attributed it to them understanding how Valdez plays.
“We know her plays, we know how she hits so it’s easy for, let’s say Dennise Lazaro to dig her up,” she shared. “We really talked about it like how we’re gonna defend it from the outside or even the middle. She got a lot of points, but we were able to control her 39-point game.”
Soriano is happy with Bali Pure’s quick turnaround from a deflating loss to UST over the weekend, saying the return of coach Tai Bundit, who had to go home to Thailand last week for personal reasons, helped the team a lot.
“We’re more solid now,” she explained. “We are unified now as compared to our last game. Last game was a bit scrappy. Now we had more time in terms of training. Coach Tai also helped a lot, instructing us where to be, reminding us what to do.”
The Water Defenders will be tested anew by Air Force on Monday, but the former Ateneo star said they are ready for whatever challenge awaits them. — By Joyce Palad