Former rivals Reyes, Valdez relish PH’s good teamwork

BINAN City, Laguna — First-time teammates Mika Reyes and Alyssa Valdez were proud to see the star-studded Philippine team display total teamwork in defeating Hong Kong to the start the 19th AVC Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championships on Wednesday at Alonte Sports Arena here.

Valdez was on attack mode early in the game, firing her signature powerful cross court hits, while Reyes was solid at the net in the Philippines’ 25-21, 25-16, 25-17 victory.

But it was not just the two of them that stood out as 6-foot-5 do-it-all spiker Jaja Santiago proved unstoppable, Ces Molina also delivered her strong attacks, setter Kim Fajardo scored a couple of points while dishing out excellent combination plays, lefty opposite spikers Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Jovelyn Gonzaga showed their deadly form and libero Denden Lazaro played superb even with an injured hamstring.

“It’s really a team effort talaga lahat nagcontribute and everybody really wants to win. Good game for everyone,” said Reyes, skipper of the RP team.

Valdez, who top-scored the team with 14 points, was glad that their 17-day training camp in Japan paid off.

“It’s really the para sa bayan talaga ‘yung game today,” she said. “We really wanted to show everyone what we’ve been preparing and trying to do in Japan.

Although it was a good win to start the tournament, Reyes pointed out that they still need to focus as they face Kazakhstan on Friday.

A win by the Pinay Spikers over the Kazakhs or a Kazakhs win over Hong Kong in Pool A will earn them a slot in the AVC Asian Women’s Volleyball Cup next year.

“We’re very happy kailangan lang namin taasan pa ‘yung kumpiyansa and intensity ng laro namin,” said Reyes.