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Home Court Advantage: Alyssa Valdez and Creamline Dominate Wherever They Play

Wherever the Creamline Cool Smashers go, their fans follow. The mountain-top venue in the City of Golden Friendship seemed like the home court of the Cool Smashers with 9,682 spectators giving them an electric atmosphere, which boosted them to stay unbeaten in seven games in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) second All-Filipino Conference. The Cagayanon fans showered the crowd-favorite Creamline with deafening cheers as superstars Alyssa Valdez and Jema Galanza joined hands to sweep PLDT, 25-23, 25-21, 25-19, on Saturday at Aquilino Q. Pimentel International Convention Center.

It was the second out-of-town match of Creamline following their trip to Batangas last month but wherever they play—Manila or in the province—it always turned out to be a home-court advantage for the winningest PVL club. For Alyssa Valdez, who has been one of the most famous volleyball players in the country since she was in college with the Ateneo Blue Eagles, their supporters always inspire them to take their game to the next level.

“Hindi nakakasawang maglaro and mag-improve kami sa craft namin dahil sa kanila din. I think it gives them joy, it gives us joy. Yun naman gusto namin, mapasaya din yung mga nanonood and it’s just so nice that we can unite through sport,” said Valdez, who played her first full game in the tournament here and finished with 13 points and 10 excellent receptions. The three-time PVL Most Valuable Player appreciated the effort of the fans, who made time to drive to the mountain-top venue just to cheer and meet their volleyball idols.

“Honestly, it’s very far and it’s almost on top of a mountain so we didn’t really expect that everyone would drive going here as a family and as friends,” said Valdez in Filipino. “We thank all of the fans here in CDO for their warm welcome. We respect them and their hospitality. We’re hoping to play again here in CDO.” Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses agreed with Valdez, commending their hospitality and facilities, especially the venue.

“Their venue is beautiful. They really took care of us from the hotel until our game. They prepared well for this (PVL on Tour). We’re thankful for CDO and then we also got a win. It was a great experience,” said Meneses in Filipino. Valdez is hoping for more out-of-town games for Creamline and other PVL teams to reach out to their supporters in other parts of the country.

“Hopefully, mas marami pa tayong mapuntahan na province para maging aware yung mga kabataan na they can also play volleyball and other sports as well. Looking forward to see them and looking forward to hear them cheer our team and other teams,” she said.