I'm looking forward na makalaro pa ako kasama nila -- Valdez
Lalaban at lalaban sila para magkakasama pa kami na maglalaro sa semifinals -- Alyssa Valdez
Alyssa Valdez has one simple request to her Creamline teammates: secure a semifinals spot.
The power hitter uncorked 30 points to power the Cool Smashers to a 25-15, 17-25, 25-19, 25-19, win Saturday night in the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Open Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
With its fourth win in as many outings, Creamline climbed on top of the standings and more importantly inched closer to a best-of-three semifinals berth.
But even with a 4-0 card, the Cool Smashers still have to win at least one of their last three games in the elimination round against the Power Smashers, University of the Philippines and BanKo-Perlas to punch a semis ticket.
Creamline will play without Valdez, who is averaging 27 points per game, in those three outings.
The reigning Reinforced Conference Most Valuable Player will join the national team’s Japan training camp from July 17 to August 21 as the squad prepares for the AVC Asian Women’s Senior Volleyball Championship and the 29th Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia next month.
“I was super inspired to play in today’s game,” said Valdez, who hammered 27 spikes, three aces and 16 digs to upstage Pocari Sweat’s ace hitter Myla Pablo. “Hindi mo masasabi kung ano ‘yung babalikan ko after ng training ko.”
“I’m looking forward na makakalaro pa ko with my teammates kasi ang babalikan ko (if ever) semifinals na,” added Valdez.
The Cool Smashers must get another win to avoid playing in a playoff for the last spot.
In case Creamline drops all of its last three games and there will be a tie at 4-3 card for the last Final Four spot, the Cool Smashers will have a tough time in the do-or-die playoff on August 2, the same day of Valdez’s flight back to Manila.
But Valdez believes her team won’t need a playoff.
“Lalaban at lalaban sila para magkakasama pa kami na maglalaro sa semifinals,” she said.
If Creamline advances into the Final Four, Valdez will be able to suit up for the first two games of the series. If the series drags into a Game 3, Valdez won’t be able to play because the schedule will fall on the same date of the AVC Asian Women’s Senior Volleyball Championship’s opening day on August 9 where the national team faces Hong Kong.
In case Creamline clinches a championship berth, it will be up to the team’s management if they will field Valdez depending on her availability during the Asian volleyball tilt.
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