PVL: Na-lessen ang pressure – Valdez on reaching the Finals

Mark Escarlote on Jul 06, 2018 05:34 PM
PVL: Na-lessen ang pressure – Valdez on reaching the Finals
Siguro ‘yung pressure iba rin talaga kasi after ilang conferences gustung-gusto talaga namin makapasok sa finals -- Creamline star Alyssa Valdez on finally reaching the Finals

Creamline star Alyssa Valdez finally got the monkey off her back, leading the Cool Smashers to the Finals after missing the cut the past two conferences of the Premier Volleyball League.

The Ateneo de Manila University product led Creamline into the best-of-three championship series after sweeping the dethroned Pocari Sweat-Air Force, 25-23, 25-18, 33-31, Friday in their PVL Season 2 Reinforced Conference semifinals decider at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

Valdez posted 15 points and added 14 digs to help Creamline complete a come-from-behind win in the best-of-three series.          

“Siguro ‘yung pressure iba rin talaga kasi after ilang conferences gustung-gusto talaga namin makapasok sa finals,” said Valdez, whose squad went down 0-1 to start the series before equalizing in Game 2 with a four-set victory last Wednesday.

The Cool Smashers will take on the winner between PayMaya and Banko in the championship round that will start on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Creamline despite a strong lineup in the inaugural season came short in the Final Four in the Reinforced and Open Conferences as they settled for bronze medal finishes.

In those conferences, Valdez missed a number of games as she fulfilled her commitments for the national team and in her international stint.

Coming into this season, the Cool Smashers beefed up their roster by tapping the services of former Pocari Sweat stars Michele Gumabao and Mel Gohing, Risa Sato and pair of solid imports in Kuttika Kaewpin of Thailand and American Laura Schaudt, who replaced Serbian Nina Asceric heading into the Final Four.

Expectations were high for the Cool Smashers even before the start of the conference and winning the crucial do-or-die match gave Creamline and Valdez a big sigh of relief.       

“After this game siguro mas male-less na ‘yung pressure kasi the goal is to really go into the championship, but syempre the goal is to win din,” said Valdez. “Pero iba ‘yung pinagtyagaan rin and all the sacrifices and all the injuries dumaan na sa team naming.”

The reigning conference Most Valuable Player quenched a one-year personal Finals drought since a runner-up finish in the defunct V-League Reinforced Conference back in 2016 when she was still playing for Bureau of Customs, which was swept by Pocari Sweat in the championship series.  

Valdez’s last title was back in 2015 when she teamed up with Jaja Santiago, Dindin Santiago-Manabat and Denden Lazaro in the powerhouse PLDT squad that ruled the V-League Reinforced Conference.

 

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