Alyssa Valdez’s Lethal Performance Ignites Creamline’s Victory
MANILA, Philippines — A well-rested Alyssa Valdez delivered the big hits for Creamline against the Eya Laure-led Chery Tiggo to move closer to another Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Filipino Conference.
Sitting out in their last elimination games against Galeries Tower two days before the semifinals series opener, Valdez returned to action and poured in 12 points in Creamline’s 25-18, 27-25, 25-22 victory over Chery Tiggo on Thursday at Philsports Arena.
The three-time PVL Most Valuable Player, who had a right knee injury last year that made her miss the first All-Filipino Conference, admitted that she has to manage her load because she’s not getting any younger.
“Being in a professional league, it’s very important to be healthy all throughout the season. That’s what we realized and picked up from past conferences, with Creamline being able to play until the last game,” said Valdez in Filipino. “It’s not just me. Our PTs and doctors always make sure everyone on the team is healthy. Coach Sherwin has that instinct. It’s not given to all coaches. We’re just very glad that there’s such open communication with us. Very professional, indeed.”
“Come to think of it, we’re not getting any younger. Let’s face it, we have to take care of ourselves and we’re very glad our coaches are there to support us,” she added.
Coming off a one-game rest, Valdez still flashed her lethal form and scored the last three points — capped by a set-clinching ace — in the second set to complete a comeback from a 22-24 deficit.
The 30-year-old outside spiker conspired with Jema Galanza and Tots Carlos to put Creamline a win closer to its 10th Finals appearance — sixth straight in the All-Filipino Conference.
“I’m very happy that I’m able to play the semifinals and I will continue to do the things where I can contribute,” Valdez said.
Despite losing star setter Jia De Guzman, who is in Japan as Denso’s import in the V.League, and Thailand league reinforcement Ced Domingo of Nakhon Ratchasima, Creamline still proved to be one of the deepest teams in the league as coach Sherwin Meneses drew impressive outings from Michele Gumabao, Bernadeth Pons, Jeanette Panaga, Risa Sato, and setter Kyle Negrito in their 12-game winning streak.
Creamline tries to sweep Chery Tiggo in Game 2 on Saturday but Valdez admitted it won’t be easy for them to beat a young but talented squad, led by rookie sensation Laure.