A HEALTHY Alyssa Valdez will be the key for the Philippines as it meets Indonesia anew, this time for the bronze medal in the 30th Southeast Asian Games women’s volleyball today at the Philsports Arena.
Valdez struggled with only two points in the Filipinas’ 25-22, 26-28, 22-25, 14-25 loss to the Indonesians in the final day of the preliminaries Saturday, keeping the hosts winless in the four-team field.
Apparently, Valdez is suffering from a bum stomach (hyperacidity) since Thursday, when the Philippines bowed to defending champion Thailand in straight sets.
“Di rin natin gustong puwersahin siya,” said skipper Aby Maraño. “Ang importante sa amin, di man siya makalaro, kung sino yung papalit sa kanya [maga-ambag].”
Mylene Paat and Ces Molina took the cudgels for the Filipinas with 14 and 13 points, respectively, while Eya Laure, the youngest member in the team, also gave significant contribution with seven points. Middle blocker Majoy Baron was the other player in twin digits with 12 points, including three service aces.
Whether Valdez will be in 100 percent remains to be seen, as the Philippines hopes to clinch its first podium finish since 2005 in Bacolod in the 3:30 p.m. clash with Indonesia.
“’Di naman natin pwedeng nahihirapan na ‘yung player tapos pipilitin at lalong lumala ‘yung karamdaman. Pero ang maganda naman, nandiyan si Alyssa. Pinipilit niya kahit may nararamdaman siyang masakit,” said Maraño, who tallied two blocks to finish with eight points.