Alyssa’s absence brings out best in Creamline

Saturday, 05 Aug 2017
Nads Ong - Correspondent - @nadineisreal

The perfect run of topseed Creamline was in the peril following the last-minute decision of the management to sit out ace hitter Alyssa Valdez for the remainder of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference.

In a statement released by Creamline’s mother company Rebisco, it said it wants to preserve Valdez’s health heading into the 19th AVC Asian Senior Women’s Championship and the 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games this August.

“Rebisco management has and will always support her desire to play for the country in the upcoming SEA Games.”
“So after a careful deliberation, we regret to inform you that the management has made the difficult decision to preserve Ly’s (Valdez) current health condition and make her sit out all remaining Creamline’s games.”

The Cool Smashers were left with no choice.

They respected the management’s decision.

For them, the show must go on even without the heart and soul of their team — Valdez.

Change of plan

With Valdez’s absence, head coach Tai Bundit ordered a change of game plan few minutes before their best-of-three semifinals showdown with the equally dangerous Bali Pure Saturday at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.

The former Ateneo superstar was in uniform but didn’t see action.

She, however, provided moral support to her teammates through cheering her heart out on the sidelines.

The Cool Smashers were playing hot and cold before they crushed the Water Defenders in a thrilling five-set conquest, 25-19, 13-25, 28-26, 18-25,15-7.

With their backs against the wall, they silenced their younger foes with an 8-1 lead in the deciding set and never looked back.

Veteran Rosemarie Vargas led the charge with 19 points while Pau Soriano scored 18 markers. Francesca Racraquin and Rizza Mandapat, on the other hand, tallied 11 points apiece while MJ Balse had 10 points for the Cool Smashers.

Creamline assistant coach Oliver Almadro credited his wards’ great team effort for keeping their clean 7-0 record even without Valdez.

“Unang-una the team naman is ready naman to play without Alyssa. Everyday nire-ready sila ni coach Tai (Bundit) so without Alyssa we’re happy, with Alyssa we’re very happy.”
“Everybody showed their heart, nagtulung-tulong talaga, it’s their teamwork and a find-a-away-make-a-way system.”

The Cool Smashers had once again defied the odds.

They are one win away from punching a ticket in the Finals.

“We were playing against all odds.”
“We just promised each other that we will not be afraid. Basta, happy-happy lang.”

True enough, nothing can beat a team with a happy and strong heart.