PVL: Youth, physical condition Ateneo-Motolite's edge says Valdez
Mark Escarlote on Dec 03, 2018 03:00 PM
I think sa mga bata katulad ng Ateneo medyo may advantage sila kasi yung routine nila as a student-athletes kahit pagod nagte-training, kahit pagod naglalaro nand'yan na 'yan -- Alyssa Valdez
Alyssa Valdez and the Creamline Cool Smashers brace for a tough challenge from the young Ateneo-Motolite squad in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference Finals.
The former Queen Eagle will battle it out against her former college team for the season-ending conference crown starting Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Creamline will have the championship experience following its conquest of the Reinforced Conference months back and the advantage of having seasoned players in its roster; however, Valdez noted that the Lady Eagles will have the edge in youth and physical condition.
"Napag-usapan nga yesterday 'yan paano yan kung magback-to-back games kami talaga siyempre medyo 'pag tumatanda ka na mahirap na 'yung fast recovery," said Valdez, whose squad got the luxury of extra rest after sweeping PetroGazz in the Final Four.
These were the same advantages that the carried Ateneo-Motolite into the Finals. The Lady Eagles downed veteran-laden BanKo in the best-of-three semifinals after coming back from a 0-1 series deficit by winning back-to-back games over the weekend capped by an extended five-set decision Sunday.
"I think sa mga bata katulad ng Ateneo medyo may advantage sila kasi yung routine nila as a student-athletes kahit pagod nagte-training, kahit pagod naglalaro nand'yan na yan," said the 25-year old Valdez.
The two squads split their first two meetings in the elimination round with the Cool Smashers crushing the Lady Eagles in straight sets sans Ateneo-Motolite's veterans Kat Tolentino, Maddie Madayag and Ponggay Gaston in the first round.
The Lady Eagles scored a payback in five sets in their rematch with the Cool Smashers missing the services of Risa Sato while veteran Michele Gumabao was still adjusting after coming back in the fold following her Miss Global stint in Albania.
"I think sa Ateneo yung difference lang nung nanalo kami hindi sila kumpleto siyempre meron pa ring advantage yung confidence din ng mga bata na nanalo sila ng kumpleto sila," Valdez said.
So if given a chance, Creamline looks to finish the series in just two games to avoid a winner-take-all match where the Lady Eagles have the edge considering that Game 2 and 3 are scheduled on back-to-back days.
"'Yun nga mahirap sabihin kasi if it’s Ateneo sanay sila na laging pukpukan talaga," said Valdez.
"(But) at the end of the day, I think it’s really the mindset going to the Finals yung magdi-differentiate kung sino mas lalamang sa games," she added.
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