Asian Games: More than frustration, Valdez thrilled to play with PH anew after loss to KAZ

More than frustration, ace hitter Alyssa Valdez is excited to play alongside her Philippine national women’s volleyball teammates despite their five-setter loss against Kazakhstan in the classification playoffs in the Asian Games 2018 women’s volleyball tourney.

In a post-game interview, Valdez revealed that they expected their match against Kazakhstan to go down the wire as both are hungry after dropping out of medal contention.

“We set our mind na this is gonna be a long game din talaga kasi every time we play against Kazakhstan, medyo mahaba talaga ‘yung mga games,” the Creamline Cool Smasher skipper said.

The last time the two squads squared off was in 2017 during the Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship in Manila with Kazakhstan, who triumphed over the pesky Philippines in five sets.

It was the same scenario yesterday, but with an improved Philippine squad resisting the tough Kazakhs.

The 25-year old outside hitter said that the difference between this game and their previous ones was their desire to win especially after having to give up their podium finish dreams.

“But one thing siguro na iba sa ano talaga namin going into this game, we really wanted to win. Siguro sa first set hindi siya visible. Hindi natin nakita, but noong nabigyan na tayo ng opportunity to fight in the last set binigay naman talaga ‘yung lahat,” Valdez shared.

With their backs against the wall, the Philippines forced a rubber set behind the heroics Jaja Santiago, Mylene Paat and Valdez after being down by two sets to one.

The nationals looked poised to take home the match as they built a four-point lead, 7-3, in the fifth set before Kazakhstan chopped off the deficit.

In the end, Philippines just ran of gas as Kazakhstan escaped them in five sets, 11-22, 25-22, 15-25, 25-19, 14-16, yesterday at the GBK Tennis Indoor in Jakarta.

Valdez, though, took this loss in stride as she felt thrilled to play with her teammates anew instead of being frustrated in the winnable match.

“More than frustration, alam mo ‘yung feeling nakaka-excite ulit mag-training. Nakaka-excite ulit mag-team up with these girls kasi alam mong malayo talaga ang mararating,” the Batangas native said.

Valdez finished with a triple-double performance with 13 markers, 18 digs and 24 excellent receptions in a losing effort for the nationals, who absorbed their third straight loss.

The Philippines shoots for a 7th place finish when they take on Indonesia today, 10 a.m. (INA time) at Bulungan Sports Hall.

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