Alyssa Valdez happy to see growth in Jema Galanza, Creamline teammates

Sidetracked by her first major injury and national team commitments, Alyssa Valdez struggled to give her hundred percent to the Creamline Cool Smashers’ title defense in the 2019 PVL Open Conference.

 The Creamline team captain has had quite a busy last four months. She had to miss a few elimination games in the PVL due to a midfoot injury, which she deemed as the first major injury in her volleyball career, along with her duties for the Philippine national women’s volleyball team together with teammate Jia Morado.

READ — Alyssa Valdez takes backseat for now following ankle injury

But even with the duo missing in action for some time, the Cool Smashers still went on to sweep the conference with an unprecedented 20-game winning streak all the way to the finals.

For Valdez, their perfect run wouldn’t be possible without her teammates who incredibly stepped up their game this conference.

“For me, lalo na for Jema and the players who played the whole 20 games, nag-grow talaga sila, from the first game to the finals,” the team captain said.

The Cool Smashers successfully defended their Open Conference crown after overpowering the Petro Gazz Angels in straight sets, 29-27, 25-22, 27-25, yesterday in Game Two of the best-of-three title series at the Filoil Flying V Center.

It was a hard-fought win for Creamline, with Valdez and Conference MVP Jema Galanza leading the squad with 18 and 16 points, respectively. Best Libero Kyla Atienza also delivered for the squad with a double-double defensive performance.

The team captain expressed her gratitude to her teammates for their growth and maturity throughout the tournament, which also witnessed some obstacles for the Cool Smashers despite their undefeated record.

“Maraming nangyari in this conference na hindi namin inaasahan, but I would love to think that it was a blessing in disguise. Lumabas naman sa finals at semifinals, lahat naasahan–kahit sinong bigyan mo ng bola, makakapatay,” Valdez said.


“We grew as a team din this conference—actually napakahirap ng pagkuha ng panalo namin, but I believe we had so many struggles and challenges this conference, that’s why we pulled through,” she added.

Valdez noted the individual resurgences of Galanza, Atienza, Celine Domingo, and Risa Sato that really helped them take the championship.

“Nakita mo ‘yung improvement lalo na kay Jema, Kyla, Ced Domingo, Risa Sato, I can name everyone in my team. Ako, personally out ako for how many games, [and] nakita ko kung gaano sila kalakas at nag-step up,” Valdez said.

Snatching the Open Conference title, the Cool Smashers achieved their third gold medal finish–the most of any squad in the league.

With the season over for Creamline, Valdez and Morado are set to completely train with the national team, who is looking to end their podium finish drought in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games.




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