CREAMLINE coach Oliver Almadro said the team’s morale-boosting wins without star Alyssa Valdez only bode well for the Cool Smashers entering the best-of-three semifinals of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference.
The Cool Smashers will face BaliPure in back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday after sweeping the elimination round including the last three without Valdez, who joined the national team’s 17-day training in Japan.
It was a confidence-building experience for the team as veterans Pau Soriano, Rosemarie Vargas and Ging Balse stepped up while San Beda top hitter Cesca Racraquin provided the firepower and setter Jia Morado showcased her playmaking skills.
“Sinabi ko na nga before, even without Alyssa, the team is winning para pagbalik niya happy siya na ang team niya nagkaroon ng experience without her,” said Almadro.
Valdez and the rest of the national team will end their 17-day training camp with a friendly match against Kansai University on Tuesday and will return to the country on Wednesday.
Creamline is silent on whether Valdez will rejoin Creamline upon his return since the national team is set to compete in the Asian Seniors Women's Volleyball Championship next week.
Almadro believes that with Valdez’s experience from Japan, Creamline is bound to get better, especially with the rest of the Cool Smashers growing in confidence.
“Darating pa siya coming from a good training in Japan, dadalhin niya ang natutunan niya dito, then ang mga players naman dadalhin ang confidence. Magsasama-sama, magandang bagay,” he said.
“Sa pagbalik ni Ly, malaking bagay for Creamline ito,” he added. ”May naitulong siya from the national team and may naitulong ang team habang wala siya so malaking factor ‘yun na habang wala si Ly.”