As Alyssa Valdez takes her final flight as queen of Ateneo de Manila, an important question hangs over her head like an anvil: Where will be her next landing.
Probably the greatest Filipino volleyball player ever to step on the court, Valdez once again proved her brilliance when she rallied the Lady Eagles to an amazing victory over bitter rival De La Salle in Game Two to tie their UAAP women’s volleyball tournament best-of-three finals series last Wednesday.
Valdez scored 34 points, bulk of which coming in the decisive third and fourth sets where the Lady Eagles waged an oozing rally to completely break the spine of the Lady Spikers.
Game 3 is set on Saturday.
More than anything else, it will be her final game in the collegiate ranks.
The inevitable has finally come.
Valdez’s landing spot
A source claimed that Valdez will be facing an even greater dilemma once she formally kissed the UAAP goodbye.
Her club, PLDT, reportedly decided to go on a different direction and will no longer come up with a team both in the men’s and women’s divisions of the V-League.
A new club in the V-League, Pocari Sweat, expressed strong desire to acquire her services, but another source claimed that the brand directly collides with one of her major endorsement, Gatorade.
Earlier, a Thai coach in Chamnan Dokmai stated that Thai clubs may not be interested in Valdez as they have a stable supply of spikers in Bangkok. And should Thai clubs ever decide to tap Filipino players, they will definitely go for a setter – somebody in the mold of Kim Fajardo of La Salle.
Sure, she can play abroad. But with the level of competition, plus international team’s penchant for hiring European and American imports, she has to go through the grueling process of proving her worth without any assurance of landing a hefty contract.
Another source said the most logical choice is for Valdez to play in the Philippine Superliga where she will get a taste of intense action against the country’s best volleyball players.
She will also get to test her skills against foreign players, and – if luck rolls her way – she might gain tremendous amount of exposure abroad and represent the country in international tournaments.
Unfortunately, her handlers are reportedly not seeing eye to eye with ranking Superliga officials.
And Valdez might soon find herself in the crossfire with her blossoming volleyball career getting hostaged.
Yes, the reigning Queen Eagle is about to take her final flight.
But her landing spot remains clouded with questions and uncertainties.