PVL: Creamline growing together, winning as one
Mark Escarlote on Nov 10, 2019 09:23 AM
Creamline's latest conquest and historic feat came with a lot of struggles and obstacles that made victory sweeter.
The road to the title via an incredible conference sweep may look easy for Creamline, but it didn’t come as rosy as it seems.
There were obstacles and unforeseen challenges.
However, it didn’t stop the Cool Smashers from achieving their goal of retaining the crown in historic fashion in the Premier Volleyball League Season 3 Open Conference.
All of the sacrifices, hard work, struggles and challenges bore the sweetest fruit.
“Siguro ang lahat ng pagod namin worth it,” said conference Most Valuable Player Jema Galanza. “’Yung sakripisyo namin sa araw-araw na gumigising kami ng 5:00 a.m., meron pang 4:00 a.m. Ito ang nangyari sa lahat ng ginawa namin. Sobrang happy kami kasi lahat gumawa at nag-contribute din.”
The Cool Smashers wrote history by completing a rare 20-game sweep of the season-ending conference capped by a hard-fought straight sets win over rival PetroGazz, 29-27, 25-22, 27-25, in Game 2 of the best-of-three Finals series on Saturday.
But along the way, Creamline had to hurdle a lot obstacles,from injuries to unavailability of players.
“Naramdaman talaga namin 'yung lahat ng pinaghirapan namin this season kasi there were a few people who said na, 'Masyadong madali na na-sweep 'yung season.' But there were a lot of stories behind the scene,” said playmaker Jia Morado, who won the Finals MVP and a fifth straight Best Setter award.
The Cool Smashers missed the services of its top hitter Alyssa Valdez for a number of games after suffering a mid-foot injury midway in the elimination round.
Head coach Tai Bundit also had to tweak his rotation with Valdez and Morado fulfilling their national team duties with the conference still ongoing.
And the field offered tough competition against the star-studded club.
“Ang daming obstacles na binigay, 'di ba?” said Morado. “Pero we really made it a point to power through and be there for each other and trust our whole coaching staff na hindi kami pinapabayaan until the end.”
But all those troubles made this conquest extra special for the pink-clad ladies.
“Actually, napakahirap ng pagkuha ng panalo namin,” said Valdez. “But I believe we had so many struggles and challenges this conference, that’s why we pulled through.”
This tournament turned an already strong club into a better team.
“For me, lalo na for Jema and the players who played the whole 20 games, nag-grow talaga sila, from the first game to the Finals,” according to Valdez. “Nakita mo yung improvement lalo na kay Jema, Kyla (Atienza), Ced Domingo, Risa Sato, I can name everyone in my team.”
For Valdez, her missing a number of games worked as a blessing in disguise as it gave way for the rest of the team to showcase its full potential and depth.
“Ako personally out ako for how many games, nakita ko kung gano sila kalakas at nag-step up,” she said. “Advantage din siya, I would say, kasi nakita rin namin yung full potential namin, but the disadvantage is that we had to take care of our bodies and recover well para sa darating na games.”
For now, Creamline is enjoying the spoils of war and redeeming the lost pride of wresting the Reinforced Conference title to the Angels.
The Cool Smashers will rest for now, celebrate their victory, for next year promises of another challenge to conquer.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles