Alyssa Valdez has played in numerous do-or-die games and championship series, but nothing has ever made her more anxious than playing for the first time since a major injury.
Finally seeing limited action for the Creamline Cool Smashers earlier in their game against the Philippine Air Force Lady Jet Spikers, Valdez admitted having jitters stepping into the court after sustaining a foot injury two weeks ago.
“First time ko talagang kabahan sa buong career ko–more than kinabahan, kasi hindi pa ako nagvo-volleyball. Iba pala talaga ang kaba kapag may first ever major injury ka ring nakuha,” Valdez said.
Valdez and the Cool Smashers showed dominance anew as they dismantled the Lady Jet Spikers in straight sets, 25-15, 25-16, 25-18, earlier in the 2019 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the Filoil Flying V Center.
Creamline displayed an all-around game earlier against Air Force, doubling up on their spiking and service game to help them clinch their eleventh win and remain untainted in the tournament.
Jema Galanza and Michele Gumabao finished as the Cool Smashers’ scoring duo, registering 21 and 15 points, respectively.
While Valdez failed to chip in a single point due to playing limited time for the reigning Open Conference champions, she said she was thankful for finally returning to the court anew, having done therapy for the past two weeks.
“This is the first ever time to hold again a volleyball kasi I’ve been doing therapy din for the past two weeks. I was really happy na nandoon ‘yung teammates ko to support me,” the Creamline team captain said.
The foot injury, which she sustained in one of their practice sessions, caused her to miss the national team’s 2019 ASEAN Grand Prix stint in Thailand and two games for the Cool Smashers.
Valdez hopes to fully bounce back and return to full form in order to fulfill her commitments to her club and the tricolor squad.
“The doctor says to ask for MRI kasi hindi nawawala ‘yung swelling, pero I guess tolerable naman ‘yung pain. First time kong mawala nang two weeks in terms of volleyball condition—I think iyon ‘yung kailangan kong habulin,” Valdez said.
While on the road to recovery, Valdez expressed her appreciation of her Creamline teammates who have been stepping up in her absence.
“As a teammate, hindi namin hinihingi na 100 percent siya, because we know she is feeling pain. If she can give fifty, we can put up the other fifty for her,” Gumabao said.
The Cool Smashers look to clinch their twelfth straight win of the tournament as they face the Choco Mucho Flying Titans this Saturday in Iloilo.