Superstar Alyssa Valdez wouldn’t really earn much when she suits up for 3BB Nokhonnont in the Thailand Volleyball League starting January 29.
According to a person with knowledge of her contract, the high-leaping open spiker stands to earn a monthly salary of only 30,000 baht, or roughly P42,000, from January up to the end of her contract in April.
The amount is peanuts compared to the reported salary she earned from the Bureau of Customs, which she powered to a bridesmaid finish in the Reinforced Conference of the V-League, as well as to her massive endorsement contracts with various companies back home.
Aside from the meager amount, the Thai club also vowed to shoulder her round-trip ticket and accommodation.
The source said the huge pay cut reflects how much Valdez is sacrificing to carry the torch of Philippine volleyball in a foreign country.
Not a major issue
In a meeting with Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI) acting president Peter Cayco over the weekend, Valdez said money is not a major issue.
The source said Valdez told Cayco how eager she is to gain experience in a volleyball powerhouse country like Thailand so she can share it to her fellow players and use it when she tries to lead the Philippines in the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur.
Thai volleyball remains a mystery to Filipinos.
The last time a local club defeated a Thai team was last year when veteran RC Cola-Army dominated the national juniors team of Thailand in a four-set battle of the Philippine Superliga Invitational Conference.
Prior to that, the Thais’ dominance over the Filipinos spans over 13 years, or during the finals of the Singapore Southeast Asian Games in 1993.
“She wants to learn the system of Thai volleyball and gain experience which she can use when we compete in the SEA Games this year. She’s making a huge sacrifice and she’s doing this for her love of her country.”
Ready to return
Although Valdez is Philippine volleyball’s biggest export to Thailand, she’s not yet assured of punching a slot in the 16-woman national roster.
Head coach Francis Vicente stressed that there would be no special treatment and even if Valdez is arguably the most popular player in the country today, she, too, has to undergo the tryouts that would be held in three locations: Manila, Cebu and Davao.
The source said LVPI reminded Valdez that she has to fly back if she’s really serious in joining the team.
“In fact, she already has a round-trip ticket which she could use to join the tryouts. She’s willing to submit herself and displayed her full commitment to join the national team.”
Cayco confirmed the veracity of the source’s claim, saying that they would be waiting for Valdez to fight for her slot.
Cayco said Valdez may be making very meager amount out of her Thai stint, but the lessons she would learn and the experiences she would gain are all priceless.
It’s an amount way more precious than gold.
After all, playing for flag and country is something money just can’t buy.