Alyssa Valdez apologizes for Vietnam loss: “Pasensya na at nagkulang kami”

Despite an ecstatic outlook going to their opening game, the Philippine national women’s volleyball team concluded the day with a painful loss in front of the home crowd.

Admitting her excitement in their 30th Southeast Asian Games women’s volleyball campaign, team mainstay Alyssa Valdez didn’t hide her emotions as she offered an apology after their opening day letdown.

“Pasensya na at nagkulang tayo. Kinulang, kinapos talaga kami sa dulo,” Valdez said.

Valdez and the national team started their title hunt on a bad note after bowing down to Vietnam in five sets, 25-21, 23-25, 19-25, 25-20, 15-8, earlier at the Philsports Arena.

After starting the match with an intense opening set win, the tricolor squad saw stronger hustle from the Vietnamese team with senior open spiker Tran Thi Thanh Thuy taking charge in the second and third sets for a 1-2 set deficit.

While they took back the fourth set to force a decider, the Nationals eventually ran out of gas as Vietnam waxed hot in the fifth set, leading as much as six points in the final stretch to pull away with the win.

Despite leading the tricolor squad with 22 points, Valdez felt like she could have done more as she really wanted to snatch an opening day victory for the country.

“Personally, I was really looking forward to get the win, but unfortunately we didn’t. Ako, gusto ko pang mag-improve–more than the offense, I really want to help the team on both net and floor defense,” the open spiker said.

Three other players finished in double digits, with Jovelyn Gonzaga and Ces Molina tallying 12 points each, and Majoy Baron with 10 markers.

Falling short in the deciding set, Valdez admitted the Vietnamese team displayed stronger composure and utilized their experience to take the win.

“We had a good fight from the first set to the fourth set, but I guess experience will play a big role in the fifth set, sa dami ng nilaro ng Vietnam for the longest time sa international competitions,” Valdez said.

The open spiker plans to leave their loss behind as they look forward to bounce back in their next game against powerhouses Thailand, who have won eleven straight SEA Games titles.

“One thing we’ve learned today–walang imposible. Sinumang makakalaban namin, kung sino [ang] magbibigay ng buong puso sa laban, iyon siguro ang mananalo,” Valdez said.