CREAMLINE hopes to play full strength throughout the tournament this time in the PVL Reinforced Conference, with Alyssa Valdez committed to stay for the Cool Smashers after last year missing several matches due to international stints.
Following a couple of third place finishes in last year’s inaugural season, Creamline looks to score its first championship.
“I’m excited to play because we have a good team, a very good one,” said Valdez, who missed key games last year after suiting up for 3BB Nakornnont in Thailand and Attack Line in Chinese Taipei and the national team.
“We know it’s going to be a tough season because all the teams are really strong. But our goal is to win the championship and we will do our best to win it,” said Valdez.
The Cool Smashers starter their title bid against newcomer Petro Gazz on Sunday at the Filoil Flying V Center in San Juan.
Creamline also has Jia Morado, Risa Sato, Melissa Gohing, Pau Soriano and reigning Binibining Pilipinas Ms. Globe Michele Gumabao along with Thai import Kuttika Kaewpin and Serbian reinforcement Nikolina Asceric.
Petro Gazz is out to prove its worth early, with coach Jerry Yee leaning on veterans Wensh Tiu, Paneng Mercado, Chie Saet, Djanel Cheng, Cai Nepomuceno and Ranya Musa and reinforcements Kadi Kullerkannm of Estonia and Anastasia Trach of Ukraine.
“We have a solid core,” said Yee. “It’s a matter of putting in practice and finding cohesion at the right time.”
The match starts at 4 p.m.
PayMaya, formerly PLDT, and Tacloban clash in the 2 p.m. match.
The PayMaya High Flyers is coached by Roger Gorayeb and spearheaded by three-time NCAA MVP Grethcel Soltones, Gata Pantone, Angelica Cayuna, Jasmine Nabor, Jorelle Singh, Jerrili Malabanan and Alyssa Eroa, all coming from last year’s Open Conference champion BaliPure.
Gorayeb has added San Sebastian’s Kat Villegas and Joyce Sta. Maria and Far Eastern U’s Czarina Grace Carandang with imports Nicole Roundtree and Shelby Sullivan.
Tacloban coach Nes Pamilar is also upbeat of the Fighting Warays’ chance on a team built around reigning NCAA MVP Shola Alvarez and stars of NCAA champion team Arellano U headed by Jovielyn Prado, Regine Arocha and Mary Anne Esguerra.
Also suiting up for Tacloban are San Sebastian’s Vira Guillema, University of the East’s Judith Abil and FEU’s Kyle Negrito with Thai stars Amporn Hyapha and Sasiwilmol Sangpan as their imports.
Other teams seeing action are BaliPure-NU, Iriga-Navy, BanKo-Perlas and defending champion Pocari Sweat-Air Force.
Also on tap is the men’s division with Army and debuting Vice Co tangling at 10 a.m.