Alyssa Valdez reveals a little "healthy competition" with boyfriend Kiefer Ravena at SEA Games 2022

Filipino power couple Alyssa Valdez and Kiefer Ravena both represent the Philippines at the 2022 SEA Games. Alyssa sat down with Olympics.com and revealed the first thing Kiefer said when he found out he was going to Hanoi...

By Ken Browne

Volleyball superstar Alyssa Valdez and Filipino basketball hero Kiefer Ravena both compete at the SEA Games 2022 in Hanoi, and when Ravena found out he was going to the Games he couldn't resist a little flex.

Kiefer was called into the basketball team to try and help the Philippines win a 14th straight men's basketball gold medal in Vietnam.

And when Alyssa sat down for an exclusive interview with Olympics.com she revealed the first thing he said when the call came through that he was headed to Hanoi.

"We were so surprised, at first he wasn't in the line-up, then at the last minute he's gonna go to Hanoi... the first thing he said to me was 'it's gonna be my sixth medal, hopefully you'll get your first.

"And I said, ok... That's, you know, some healthy competition between two athletes!"

Ravena has already won five basketball gold medals at previous Southeast Asian Games, and is aiming at a sixth, while Valdez came so close to a first the last time around in Manila when her team lost out in the bronze medal match.

Alyssa Valdez leaves Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) final to play in Vietnam

There was some doubt too about Alyssa playing the Games as she was on the Filipino (Pinoy) Big Brother show on national television making it all the way to the final which clashed with the Games in Vietnam.

"I was so shocked," laughs Valdez in the team hotel in Halong, "unfortunately I had to back off the PBB because I had to fulfill my commitment to the national team.

"I came in the (Pinoy Big Brother) house not really knowing the schedule, I just went there for the experience and I didn't know I was going to be part of the top two and have to come back!

"But the PBB was very very kind to allow me to come here and represent our country... they know that I'm an athlete first before coming in the house and they were very supportive of the decision so I'm very thankful for everyone."

Alyssa Valdez aiming at first SEA Games medal

The team is pulling out all the stops to reach the podium in Vietnam. They had a training camp in Brazil before the competition and had a perfect opening when they beat Malaysia in straight sets in Hanoi: 25-14, 25-20, 24-15.

Valdez led from the front alongside fellow stars Jaja Santiago, and Cess Molina.

The Creamline Cool Smashers star also talked about the high spirits in the camp, the fun they're having and the songs they're singing as this team chases that elusive medal.

The full interview will be published soon on Olympics.com so stay tuned!

You can follow all the SEA games action on our daily live updates articles.

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