Creamline star Alyssa Valdez won’t deny that the late start of their supposed 6:00 p.m. game Wednesday against BanKo somehow messed up their body clock.
The main game of the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference started two hours later than the scheduled opening serve after the first two matches including an epic curtain-raiser clash between PacificTown Army and ChocoMucho were decided in five sets.
“Oh my God! Eight o’clock na tayo nag-start! Bakit?” exclaimed Valdez before breathing a sigh of relief after the Cool Smashers emerged victorious to remain unbeaten after four games.
Creamline, which had quite a scare late in the fourth set, walked away with a 25-10, 19-25, 25-17, 25-23, win and spared themselves from extending their stay at the FilOil Flying Centre in San Juan beyond 10:00 p.m. after arriving in the venue almost four hours prior to their match.
“It’s really hard to wait that long. Kasi nawawala yung ritwal mo, di mo nagagawa yung warm-ups nyo,” said Valdez, whose team dropped a set for the first time in the season-ending conference.
The three-time Most Valuable Player revealed that she and the rest of the team are usually already asleep at 10:00 p.m. instead of talking to the press for a postgame.
“Kasi sleeping time na namin ‘to [10:00 p.m.] kasi 6:00 a.m. ang training namin. Sa totoo lang po sleeping time namin mga 10:00 p.m. o 9:00 p.m. ganyan,” she said.
Valdez said that they had to keep themselves awake and alert inside court.
“Kaya sa loob ng court you should keep on talking kasi lahat ng katawan namin, yung body clock talaga namin medyo iba talaga. We had to keep on talking,” said Valdez. “It resulted naman to a win so we’re just really thankful.”
The Cool Smashers came into the game around 4:00 p.m. – in the usual two-hour grace period to dress up and do their usual rituals before marching inside the court for the official warmup.
But to their surprise their sister team ChocoMucho was still in the thick of the action against the Lady Troopers.
“Dumating kami second set pa lang [ng first game]. Napakahaba ng first set,” recalled Valdez.
The first game turned out to be one for the books with the opening set lasting 51 minutes with a set score of 41-39 in favor of the Flying Titans. ChocoMucho had the chance to sweep the veteran-laden Lady Troopers but PacificTown Army rallied to steal the win in a five-set battle that lasted for two hours and 46 minutes.
That record-setting match started at 2:20 p.m. and ended at 5:06 p.m. – eating up an hour of the second game.
“Buti na lang nanalo rin ang Army so mabilis sila,” said Valdez, whose crew had to wait for Army to finish to occupy the same locker room.
“We had to wait din kasi people had to shower ganyan. Sa labas pa lang we were taping na, we were warming up so ganoon talaga,” she added. “Adjust lang tayo kasi at the end of the day pare-pareho lang tayong gustong maglaro at manalo.”
However, the second game between BaliPure and Air Force also needed five sets to be decided with the Water Defenders snatching the win in the battle of listless teams.
The game which started at 5:34 p.m. concluded a 7:44, a long two-hour, 10-minute duel.
When their time to troop to the court came, the Cool Smashers were just raring to get the game going.
“It will go either way eh. If you psych yourself na, ‘Matagal na tayong naghintay eh, tapusin na natin ito guys. Tulong-tulong na tayo,’” said Valdez. “We’re on the same page on that level ng mga teammates ko lalo na nu’ng pagpasok pa lang, ‘Guys, apat na oras na tayong naghintay rito. Might as well tapusin natin ng maayos para makauwi na tayo ng masaya and hopefully panalo rin.’ We psyched up ourselves kanina.”
However, the Cool Smashers got a scare from BanKo early in the fourth set before tying the frame at 14. The two squads engaged in a seesaw battle with Perlas Spikers veteran Sue Roces tying it at 21.
Creamline answered with three straight points to move at match point before BanKo threatened to extend the set after the Cool Smashers committed consecutive errors, 23-24.
But Michele Gumabao saved the day – or late night – and ended the match with a kill block on Nicole Tiamzon.
Then everybody went home to for a well-deserved shut eye after a long day.
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