‘Di kami maghihiwalay hangga’t di kami champion –- Valdez on Morado tandem
Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado's partnership delivers gold for Creamline.
Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado’s skills were undoubtedly a cut above the rest.
Put them in one team and they are bound for greatness.
Yes, it took them three years to finally call themselves champions once again, but their partnership brought out the best in them win or lose.
The duo shared the limelight Wednesday as they led Creamline to its breakthrough title after sweeping the best-of-three Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Reinforced Conference at the expense of PayMaya.
Valdez scored 19 points while Morado tallied 29 excellent sets in the Cool Smashers’ 25-19, 25-20, 25-11 Game 2 win that sealed the series.
Valdez and Morado’s partnership goes way back during their college days in Ateneo de Manila University. The duo played together for the Lady Eagles for three years.
With them at the helm, Ateneo won its historic first-ever UAAP crown in 2014 before claiming its last of back-to-back titles in 2015 – the last championship of the two together – before parting ways when Valdez graduated in 2016.
“Parang over the years talaga, since first year ko na magkasama kami, ang dami na rin naming natututunan sa isa’t isa kahit ang tagal na naming magkasama, ilang beses na kaming naglaro together,” said Morado, who won the Finals MVP and Best Setter award. “Parang it’s nice to say na kaya n’ya akong i-push inside the court. She knows what to say para i-up ko pa ‘yung game ko.”
The two were reunited last year when Morado joined Creamline in the Open Conference but played limited games together with Valdez flying to Taiwan for her stint with Attack Line.
After Creamline’s third place finish in last year’s Reinforced and Open Conferences, the Cool Smashers beefed up their roster adding key pieces and solid imports but it was the Valdez-Morado tandem that stood out.
“Sabi namin hindi kami maghihiwalay hangga’t di kami nagcha-champion. So pwede na kaming maghiwalay (joke lang), said 1st Best Open Spiker winner Valdez.
“Honestly, Jia keeps me calm inside and outside of the court. Even sa mga challenges off the court talaga, we make it a point na we’re there for each other,” Valdez added. “I think yun din naman ang tinuturo sa amin ng Creamline family namin, ng Rebisco family namin. It’s really to stick together no matter what happens. It’s more of a family and not just a team. Yun yung gusto naming iparamdam din sa lahat ng pumapasok sa Creamline and sa mga papasok pa. And Jia will always be one of the greatest players here in Philippine volleyball talaga.”
Valdez and Morado will now take their much-deserved rest after delivering the Cool Smashers to the throne.
But come Open Conferenxe, expect the partners to once again shine for Creamline.
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