Needing to step up with four of their starters out due to various reasons, Alyssa Valdez did what she does best – take over.
With a scintillating 39-hit effort, Valdez helped power Bureau of Customs to a tough 18-25, 27-25, 21-25, 25-21, 15-9 decision over Team Laoag for a share of the lead with UST in the early going of the Shakey’ V-League Season 13 Reinforced Conference at the Philsports Arena late Wednesday.
It was a performance to remember as Valdez erased Thai Sontaya Keawbundit’s 38-point feat in an Ateneo game against Lyceum in the battle for third six years ago. Another Thai, Lithawat Kesinee, also erupted for 37 nine years back.
The former Ateneo star and the undisputed face of women’s volley also became the highest scoring local player in the league, shattering the 37-hit performance by former Adamson captain Angela Benting eight years ago.
Still, the amiable two-time league MVP and many-time UAAP MVP has refused to take all the credit for the latest of her growing list of achievements.
“The whole team is happy because we knew we gave it all and we did it not just for ourselves but also for our imports and our teammates who were not able to play,” said Valdez, who actually more than doubled her opening 18-point performance against UP in last weekend’s inaugural of the season-ending conference where it all started.
The win netted the Transformers a share of the lead with the overachieving UST Tigresses, who also hurdled their first two assignments sans a couple of their mainstays.
But it was Valdez who stood out in the first week of the league that saw their Thai reinforcements – Kanjana Kuthaisong and Nattanicha Jaisen – fail to suit up after the access codes that would have granted them the required International Transfer Certificates have been allegedly changed.
Interestingly, Pocari Sweat’s imports Bre Mackie and Andrea Kacsits had their papers processed without any hitch.
Customs also played minus Navywomen Pau Soriano and Lillet Mabbayad after they were fined and banned by a fledgling league for playing for the Transformers last Monday where they combined for 18 points in their 25-23, 25-18, 25-22 romp over the UP Lady Maroons.
But even without the four, the Transformers appeared not to have missed a beat with Valdez in the lead.