Touted as the most successful year in the Ateneo de Manila University volleyball program, the defending champions of the UAAP are ready to conquer the international arena and end 2014 with a bang.
The Lady Eagles, who early this year outclassed De La Salle University in the UAAP Season 76 women’s volleyball finals, have been chosen to represent the Philippines in the ASEAN University Games to be held in Palembang, Indonesia next week.
Set to leave when the UAAP takes its Christmas break, team skipper Alyssa Valdez revealed to Rivals a couple of names who will be excluded in the roster for the biennial meet.
“We’ll be leaving for Indonesia I think on Sunday. We’re gonna be competing for ASEAN University Games.” said Valdez.
“We’re not gonna be using the same lineup kasi Kiwi (Ahomiro) is not gonna play because she’s a foreigner and Maddie is hindi din pwede kasi parang underage siya,” quipped the reigning UAAP season and finals MVP. “We don’t know pa who will take their place kasi hindi rin namin alam kung sinong ila-lineup ni coach Tai.”
Not one to dwell too much on expectations, the humble five-foot-nine outside hitter said she and the rest of the team are just overwhelmed by the opportunity to represent the country.
Citing that they aim to also use this chance to gain experience they can use in their title defense, Valdez said that their game plan is to just have fun.
“We’re really happy lang that we’re representing the Philippines. Hopefully naman sana mabigyan namin sila ng magandang game kasi we’re not expecting naman anything,” she said. “Siyempre university lang naman kami. Hindi naman kami national team or Philippine team. We’re just gonna give our best and enjoy the game kasi experience din talaga yun for us.”
Asked whether she thinks their patented battle cry can still make an impact, Valdez closed by saying that they definitely will be banking on ‘Heart strong!’ in every tournament here and abroad.
“Of course! Sabi nga nila it applies to all eh yung heart strong ni coach. Even sa kahit ano, injuries o kahit ano, basta mind over matter. Heart strong!”
Source : Mac Dionisio, Rivals.ph