So may natututunan din talaga sa buong tournament talaga, and hopefully madala namin yun sa semifinals — Alyssa Valdez
From opening their campaign on a sour note to a surviving a bumpy ride to advance to the semifinals, Creamline is now just four wins away from winning it all in the inaugural Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference.
A long and hard journey that earned a sweet reward for a team that stood tall despite adversities.
“’Yun talaga, wala rin talaga sa expectation namin (na makakarating sa semi),” said Cool Smashers star Alyssa Valdez moments after Creamline clinched a semifinals seat with a 25-16, 26-24, 25-17, win over Philippine Air Force Thursday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
“Pero siyempre, kami as individual players naman, ’yun din naman talaga ang goal namin in each game, siyempre makuha namin yung win, ‘di ba,” she added.
Valdez spearheaded Creamline’s assault with 19 points to help the Cool Smashers close the round robin quarterfinals with a 2-1 win-loss record to join early semifinalists top seed BaliPure, no. 2 seed Power Smashers and Pocari Sweat in the best-of-three series.
The Cool Smashers will take on BaliPure in the series starting Saturday.
Creamline started the tournament with a 2-4 win-loss record in an all-Filipino contest after the delay of their imports’ International Transfer Certificate and were in danger of getting an early exit. But a change in the tournament format midway in the preliminary round and the clearance of their reinforcements Thai Kuttika Kaewpin and American Laura Schaudt, the Cool Smashers breathed new life in their campaign.
Creamline closed the prelims with a 4-6 card and was relegated in the quarterfinals with the last two semis slots up for grabs.
The squad outlasted Perlas in five-sets to open the round before dropping a five-setter against Pocari Sweat.
“We’re just really happy na nakapasok din talaga kami dito,” said Valdez. “Marami rin talagang sacrifices, maraming five-setter matches na pinagdaaanan, but nakapasok sa semis.”
But Creamline’s journey is not yet over. The Cool Smashers set their sights for the biggest prize.
And they ready to take it one step at a time.
“Pero sabi ko nga kanina, it’s just the beginning of mas harder and tougher tournament sa semis,” she said.
“So may natututunan din talaga sa buong tournament talaga, and hopefully madala namin ‘yun sa semifinals,” Valdez added. “We hope na it will be an advantage for us na naglaro pa kami ng extra games sa quarterfinals.”
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