The Premier Volleyball League (PVL) closed its curtains for this year yesterday when Creamline was crowned back-to-back Open Conference champions.
The Cool Smashers inked their names in the league’s history as they swept the tournament, 20-0, en route to their third PVL title.
Conference MVP Jema Galanza, Finals MVP Jia Morado and ace hitter Alyssa Valdez all came through to give the three-time PVL champions the sweet victory after four long months of grueling competition.
Prior to this, the Philippine SuperLiga (PSL) has also wrapped up its season last Friday after the successful staging of Super Cup.
For fans of the two leagues, it will be quite a long wait before they see their favorite teams in action again.
Considering their calendar of activities this year, PSL might plunge back into action on February next year for the Grand Prix while PVL could kick off on May — quite a long time to kill for the aficionados.
But the volleyball community could somehow look into the brighter aspect of this situation. With the PSL and the PVL already closed for the season, full focus can now be shifted to the Philippine women’s volleyball national team.
The National team is set for war in the forthcoming 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games next month with the aim of ending a 14-year long medal drought.
The tricolor squad participated in the 2019 ASEAN Grand Prix and held a 12-day training camp in Japan from September to October as part of its preparations.
Shaq delos Santos and his wards are expected to move into full gear on Monday, playing against men’s teams, as part of its preparations for the December 2-10 tournament at the PhilSports Arena.
It is a welcome development for the team who has been dealing with lost of players and incomplete training sessions for the past months.
With the two league both in full swing since February, there was limited time and opportunities for the squad to have complete training sessions due to schedule conflicts and club commitments.
In fact, Valdez and Morado have had to cut their Japan training short to join Creamline in the final stages of PVL.
The team still has issues to address, specifically its lapses in defense and transition plays as evident in its three-setter loss to collegiate team University of Tsukuba in the PSL Super Cup. This, aside from finishing its series of tuneup matches in Japan sand2a win.
And with Kalei Mau out of the lineup due to ineligibility, the team needs to fill the void and find someone aside from Valdez, Mylene Paat and Majoy Baron to light up the scoreboard as it faces Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia for the medal.
Meanwhile, the men’s team led by Marck Espejo, Ranran Abdilla and Jessie Lopez is currently training in Japan and is also doing tuneup matches as preparations.
The men’s team is slated with Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia in Pool B. Only the top two teams per pool move to the semifinals.
The women’s division will only feature four teams in a single round robin format where the top two seeded teams will qualify for the gold medal match.
The Espejo-led spikers collide with Cambodia on December 2 while the Pinay hitters take on Vietnam on December 3 to open their campaigns.