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Alyssa Valdez Relives Memories in her ‘Best Shoes’

MANILA, Philippines — When it was announced that Nike was bringing back another Kobe Bryant silhouette this year, Alyssa Valdez turned emotional upon learning that it would be an iteration of the late NBA legend’s eighth signature sneaker.

For Alyssa Valdez, it was certainly not just a pair of hyped-up kicks that’s making a comeback.

“You know what, my first reaction when I heard that the Kobe 8 was returning, I felt like crying because it was the best shoes for me personally,” Valdez told Inquirer Sports after Creamline stayed unbeaten in eight games. “And you know how much I love Kobe Bryant also. It’s really such an amazing conference for me also wearing [these] shoes.”

Kobe 8 has a special place in Valdez’s heart as she wore the first edition–released in 2012–when Ateneo won its first UAAP women’s volleyball championship after it overcame the thrice-to-beat La Salle in Season 76 in 2014.

The UAAP Most Valuable Player used the Kobe 8 PP Gorge Green when she and the Blue Eagles made history.

Alyssa Valdez playing in the Kobe 8 “Halo”.–MARLO CUETO/

“I’m very very happy and it brings back so much memories most especially college days. Me and Ella (De Jesus) always talked about it. Ella got also but of course, it was hard to find one,” said Valdez.

Nine years after her special moment wearing the Kobe 8, the 30-year-old Valdez had the same feeling playing in the new ones that were released in August. Valdez has been wearing the Kobe 8 Protro (Performance Retro) “Halo” in Creamline’s title-retention bid in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) second All-Filipino Conference.

“All I can is the Kobe 8 is the best shoes now,” Valdez said. “Psychologically, I’m always excited to play and wear the shoes.”

In fact, the three-time PVL MVP got a lot of pairs of the triple white Kobes. And she looks forward to the release of the new colorways.

“You have no idea how many pairs of Kobe 8 I bought,” said Valdez with a laugh. “That’s how much I love the shoes. I’m really looking forward to all the new colorways of the Kobe 8.”

Valdez hopes to make more memorable moments in her new Kobes.

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“Wow. I never thought of that. But definitely, I think it’s a momentous conference for us because a lot has happened with Jia not being able to play with us and Ced. I think now it’s been a very long conference so it would be nice to have a good memory with my Kobe 8,” said Valdez.