Alyssa Valdez looking beyond PH after V-League stint

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — After a storied collegiate career in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) for the Ateneo Lady Eagles, which resulted in five trips to the finals, three MVP awards, and two championships, Alyssa Valdez looks forward to her next challenge.

The multi-titled outside hitter said she will play in the upcoming season of the Shakey's V-League but has yet to join a team. After that, the queen eagle hopes to spread her wings and take her talents overseas, a move which she hopes will help the sport grow in the Philippines.

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"I just want to go outside and see volleyball outside of the Philippines also, so that when I go back here may matutulong pa rin tayo sa volleyball community," said Valdez. "Not only to get to experience the culture of the other countries, but how they play, the level of competitiveness ng volleyball nila dun."

[Translation: I just want to go outside and see volleyball outside of the Philippines also, so that when I go back here we can give more help to the volleyball community. Not only to get to experience the culture of the other countries, but how they play, the level of competitiveness of volleyball in other countries.]

According to Valdez, the offers to play for teams abroad came as early as May last year, but she declined them so she can continue playing for the Lady Eagles.

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But if the foreign teams still wish to acquire her services or if the Philippine national team calls for her name, she is ready to respond.

"If given the chance, and they still contact me, why not 'di ba? Ready to go din tayo," she said. "But also, if given the chance to play for the national team here in the Philippines, to represent the country, I would love to do that before leaving the country."

Filipino fans do not need to worry about looking far beyond the region to see Valdez play if she does start to play abroad. Valdez' ideal places to play are just a few hours away via plane.

"I really want to go to Thailand, to Indonesia, to Malaysia, to Chinese-Taipei," said Valdez. "(But) my dream naman is to play against sa mga Japan, China, but their level of competition is super taas naman. So kailangan natin humanap ng stepping stone and foundation so that we can be ready sa lahat ng mga endeavors namin."

[Translation: I really want to go to Thailand, to Indonesia, to Malaysia, to Chinese-Taipei (But) my dream is to play against Japan, China, but their level of competition is super high. So we need to find a stepping stone and foundation so that we can be ready for all our endeavors.]

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Valdez hopes that exposure to volleyball outside the country will help reveal points of improvement for herself and the national program of the Philippines in general.

"When you're outside, siyempre, makikita mo rin kung ano'ng pagkukulang not only sa sarili mo, but kung ano pang kailangan ng Philippine volleyball community para mas ma-improve natin 'yung program natin here in the Philippines," she said.

[Translation: When you're outside, of course, you will see not only your shortcomings, but also what the Philippine volleyball community needs as a whole to improve our program here in the country.

It is anyone's guess as to where Alyssa Valdez will ultimately end up playing.

But what is sure: all the experience she gains, Valdez will put to good use back home in the Philippines.

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