All about Filipino volleyball player Alyssa Valdez

You may have seen Alyssa Valdez scoring points on the volleyball court with her Ateneo de Manila and Creamline Cool Smashers team on TV, or hashtagged in fans’ social media posts as “The Phenom”.

But the outside hitter’s road to stardom wasn’t always a smooth one. Here are 8 facts about Alyssa Valdez that prove how her hard work and humility have taken her far.

1. She grew up in Batangas and started playing volleyball at age 12

alyssa valdez - childhood photo
Alyssa Valdez as a child
Image credit: renalyn rubio via Pinterest

Growing up as the only daughter of automobile worker Ruel and teacher Pablita Valdez’s four kids, Valdez was born on 29th June 1993 and picked up volleyball at age 12 from her brothers.

Her 1.75cm height no doubt gave her an advantage when she made it into the University of Santo Tomas Junior High School’s UST Tigress Cubs volleyball team at the Southern Tagalog Athletic Association sports meet, according to

alyssa valdez - younger days
Valdez at age 13
Image credit: Kiefer Ravena via Twitter

From then on, her team won many school-level tournaments, setting her up to qualify for college-level sports.

2. She originally wanted to play for the University of Santo Tomas but joined the Ateneo Lady Eagles in 2012

alyssa valdez - ateneo lady eagles
Valdez playing for the Ateneo Lady Eagles
Image credit: Ateneo LADY Eagles via Facebook

Since Valdez had debuted in the UST Tigress Cubs, she naturally had her sights set on the University of Santo Tomas team.

But after her parents’ persuasion and meeting four-star Ateneo players Fille Cainglet, Jem Ferrer, Dzi Gervacio, and Gretchen Ho at the Blue Eagle Gym on the Ateneo de Manila University campus, she felt welcome. She realized that she needed to break out of her comfort zone at UST, according to PhilStar.

alyssa valdez - ateneo graduation photo
Valdez’s graduation shot
Image credit: @alyssa_valdez via Instagram

So she joined the Ateneo de Manila University’s Ateneo Volleyball Lady Blue Eagles team, and the rest is history. Not only did she help the team win the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) championship titles in Seasons 76 and 77 (2013-14 and 2014–15 respectively), but she also completed her AB Psychology major program and graduated in 2015.

Later in a 2019 Inquirer article, she commented on what she had learned from her two schools: “UST taught me passion and dedication while Ateneo gave me that heartstrong spirit, but of course both taught me to be a hardworking student.”

4. She’s played for both our youth and senior women’s national teams

ASIAN youth volleyball 2008
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ASIAN youth volleyball 2008

A volleyball match at the 2008 Asian Youth Championship
Video credit: Ah Dee via YouTube

As part of the Youth 16-Under Girls’ Philippines National Volleyball Team, she led the team to eighth place in the 2008 Asian Youth Championship on home ground. Later, she joined the Philippines National Senior Volleyball Team which she captained in the 2015 Asian U23 Championship.

alyssa valdez - 2015 sea games flagbearer
Valdez as SEA Games 2015 flagbearer
Image credit: Lady Eagles via Facebook

Valdez has also debuted in regional and global events, from the 2015 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in which the national team finished fifth and she was the Philippine flagbearer, to the 2017 SEA Games in Malaysia and the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines, both in which the team finished fourth.

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Valdez at the 2019 SEA Games

Image credit: Alyssa Valdez via Facebook

5. Valdez has enjoyed a pro career in multiple teams

alyssa valdez - nakornnont volleyball team thailand
Valdez (back row, third from left) with 3BB Nakornnont head coach Coach M, other coaches, and her team in 2017

Image credit: สโมสรวอลเลย์บอลนครนนท์ via Facebook

Post-Ateneo, Valdez has made it into multiple pro teams, from the Smart–Maynilad Net Spikers in 2013 to the PLDT Ultra Fast Hitters in 2015 to the BaliPure Purest Water Defenders, Bureau of Customs Transformers, and her current team, the Creamline Cool Smashers.

For some time, she even played for teams abroad – including Thai team 3BB Nakornnont and Taiwanese team Attack Line in 2017. She was the Thai team’s first Filipino player and got the chance to play alongside Thai national team players during her stint there.

Before joining these pro teams, although she had previously won UAAP Season 78’s Most Valuable Player title, her team did not win the championship in her final school year. According to the TieBreaker Times, this had fuelled her to expose herself to a new playing environment in Thailand.

6. When she’s not kicking ass on the court, she watches K-dramas

alyssa valdez - kdramas
Image credit: @AlyssaValdez2 via Twitter and @alyssa_valdez2 via Instagram

Valdez has mentioned her passion for Korean dramas in several of her brand endorsements and name-dropped Song Joong-ki as one of her favorite K-drama actors.

It makes us wonder if she binged on Vincenzo and Arthdal Chronicles during quarantine, just like the talented star’s many other fans in the Philippines!

7. She’s also a vlogger

Hello, Dubai!!!
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Hello, Dubai!!!

Video credit: Official Alyssa Valdez via YouTube

Valdez is an occasional YouTuber while off the court, having tried golf challenges, summer holiday vlogs, fashion and makeup, and even Q&A format videos on camera.

30 Questions with Alyssa Valdez
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30 Questions with Alyssa Valdez

Video credit: Official Alyssa Valdez via YouTube

While she doesn’t seem to be making this her full-time occupation as her focus continues to be her sport, fans can still tune in to catch titbits she reveals about her life – such as the fact that she’s talked about marriage with her significant other before, but teases, “No details!” in a freestyle video titled “30 Questions with Alyssa Valdez”.

Facts about volleyball player Alyssa Valdez

As a proud Filipina, Alyssa Valdez has become a symbol of national pride. Her achievements have not only brought glory to Philippine sports but have also inspired unity and patriotism. Valdez’s commitment to representing the Philippines on the global stage has made her a beloved figure, earning admiration for her talent, humility, and dedication to the sport and her country.

If you want to read more about iconic Filipino athletes, check out facts about EJ Obiena, the second-ranking pole vaulter in the world. Or read about Bianca Bustamante, the first-ever Filipina F1 driver.

Cover image adapted from: @alyssa_valdez2 via Instagram, @Creamline COOL Smashers via Facebook

Article originally published on 24 August 2021 by Xin Tian Koh. Last updated by Gly Parañal on 22 December 2023.


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