Pinay volleybelles shine

Southpaw Jovelyn Gonzaga (18) of FEU goes for a power tip over Ateneo’s Alyssa Valdez during a Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference game at The Arena in San Juan. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Southpaw Jovelyn Gonzaga (18) of FEU goes for a power tip over Ateneo’s Alyssa Valdez during a Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference game at The Arena in San Juan.

SPARKING and spiking, volleybelles Alyssa Valdez and Rachel Anne Daquis rose to the fame of being the triumphant face of the Philippines’ premiere collegiate leagues and the epitome of discipline.

The “Phenom” Valdez stunned the local sports world with her prowess as she played hard for the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles. That made her one of University Athletic Association of the Philippines’ (UAAP) most sought after players.

In last year’s UAAP season, Valdez led the Lady Eagles in a back-to-back championship romp, demolishing archrival De La Salle University.

Valdez was named Best Scorer, Best Server, Season’s MVP and the Finals MVP. She made history as the first female volleyball athlete to bag four awards in one UAAP season.

In Shakey’s V-League Season 11: Open Conference, the unstoppable Valdez was conferred the Best Scorer trophy for setting another record obtaining a total of 342 points. She surpassed the record of Jaroensri Bualee with 314 points.

This year, Valdez led the Philippine team in 2015 Asian Women’s Under-23 Volleyball Championship and carried the Philippine flag during the parade of nations in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games held in Singapore.

According to her interview with Chalk magazine, which had her and Green Archers Jeron Teng on the cover, Valdez said since entering college, her world has been a routine of nothing else but train-study-eat-sleep-repeat.

The Phenom said she always manages to stay away from distractions so she could give extra effort to the goal of being the best she can be. She has reaped praises in balancing her time for academics and sports.

Valdez, a graduate of BS Psychology, said that her chosen field helped her to understand her inner being better. She even uses psychological techniques when playing in the court.

“When you enter the court, it’s 99 percent psychology and 1 percent skill. I have better control of my emotions now,” Valdez said in the interview.

Like Valdez, Daquis followed the same rigorous routine when she was in her collegiate years at Far Eastern University.

In her interview with Boy Abunda in his primetime show Aquino and Abunda Tonight, Daquis said that to become a good player, one should be thoroughly disciplined.

She has never lost her college discipline of going home early and sleeping by 7:30 p.m.

“Discipline po talaga. Nung college po ako 7:30 pa lang tulog na ako. ‘Yung goal ko po kasi talaga is makapaglaro po ako ng maayos [It is truly discipline. When I was in college, I slept at 7:30pm because my goal was to really play well].”

She even sacrificed her social life as a teenager.

“Wala akong social life. Hindi ba pag athlete ka sinasabe nila disadvantage po yun dahil wala kang social life , wala kang nagagawa kung hindi mag-training at mag-aral lang po [I don’t have social life back then. They said that if you’re a student-athlete, it is a disadvantage for you not having any socials because your focus is only on training and studying],” she said.

But what was disadvantageous for Daquis became an advantage for her because it became her ladder to success.

“Pero, para sakin ‘yun po yung naging advantage kaya narating ko po kung nasaan man ako [But for me, it became advantageous to achieve where I am right now].”

Dubbed as the “Queen Tamaraw,” Daquis was a former FEU Lady Tamaraws’ team captain.

Besides playing for the Lady Tamaraws and guesting for the team in Shakey’s V-League 2014, Daquis also became a guest player in 2013 to the Lady Eagles in the same league.

She was named Finals MVP in the 2015 Philippine Super Liga All-Filipino Conference.

Currently, Valdez is playing for the national team and PLDT Home Ultera Ultra Fast Hitters while Daquis plays for Petron Blaze Spikers.

Because of tireless training that brings out their best athletic bodies, Valdez and Daquis entered FHM Philippines 100 Sexiest Women this year.

Valdez is at No. 68 while Daquis is at No. 8.

Discipline really pays off and brings out the best in every player, not just in their court performances but even in their lives off court.


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