Creamline gets more teeth in terms of power, leadership and maturity, says assistant coach
ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 04, 2017 10:49 AM
Creamline’s PVL Open Conference lineup, says assistant coach Oliver Almadro (standing, second from left) is stronger than the last one in terms of local talents.
Creamline assistant coach Oliver Almadro of the UAAP men’s volleyball ‘three-peat’ champion Ateneo fame has always a lot to say about any team he is involved with.
On ex-Lady Blue Eagle Jia Morado’s inclusion on the team that finished third in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference: “Jia’s addition to our lineup is a big factor. This means there will be no more hard time for Alex (Cabanos), our resident setter. And Alyssa (Valdez) gets reunited with a former teammate that greatly helped her power the Ateneo Lady Blue Eagles to their back-to-back UAAP titles.”
On Army’s loaned-out players Ging Balse-Pabayo and libero Angela Nunag’s joining the Cool Smashers: “No doubt they are bringing to the table, owing to their experience, maturity and leadership. These are priceless contributions, if I may say so.”
On the Cool Smashers’ title worthiness: “Creamline is getting more firepower with the inclusion of Rosemarie and Rizza Mandapat on the team. I will say that in terms of local talents we’re stronger now than the last team.”
Vargas, the hard-hitting former Far Eastern U Lady Tamaraw, and ex-National U Bulldog Mandapat last played in the V League as Valdez’ teammate on Bureau of Customs.
Jia Morado’s announcement that she was prematurely quitting the UAAP had distressed her fans and sent shock waves across the volleyball community, which heaved a collective sigh of relief and joy over the news that she’s joining former teammate Valdez on Creamline.
She stopped training and playing after the last UAAP season when the Lady Blue Eagles lost twice in a row to reigning back-to-champion La Salle Lady Spikers.
Morado simply could not say no to an invitation to play in a different kind of league. To get back into fighting form, she did and is still doing “lots and lots of training. I again studied and continue to study the kind of sets Alyssa favors as well as those of my new teammates.”
Thirty-six excellent sets out of Creamline’s total of 36 in the Cool Smashers’ first Open Conference outing against a gallant Adamson squad Saturday should be a solid proof that Morado is at the top of her game anew.
Not only Morado has reunited with Valdez, but with Cabanos as well.
She and Cabanos had played with the National Capital Region team in one Palarong Pambansa, she as a selection from Colegio de San Agustin and Cabanos from La Salle-Greehills.
“We’ve been friends ever since,” says Cabanos. “I’m very happy that we are back as teammates. Happy times are here again for us.”
Coming back as a mom
Years before Valdez’s name was even whispered about in the volleyball community, the former Ging Balse, once University of Santo Tomas’ golden girl, had long reigned as a superstar in the V League.
She joined the champion team of Philippine Army after her UAAP years, took a one-and-half-year break from playing to give birth to her first baby, and came back just two months ago.
The PVL, organized by Sports Vision with Asics as its official league partner and Mikasa as its official game ball, is her first tournament after motherhood.
“I will give volleyball, my first love, one last go,” she says.