Jia Morado keeps unbeaten Creamline humming despite absence of top hitter Alyssa Valdez
Jia Morado helped Creamline secure a semis spot despite the absence of Alyssa Valdez. Jaime Campos

CREAMLINE setter Jia Morado, as usual, had an impressive game to lead Creamline past Power Smashers in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference on Wednesday.

But more than her numbers, Morado was concern about providing leadership to the team in the absence of top hitter Alyssa Valdez.

The Cool Smashers clobbered the Power Smashers, 25-22, 25-21, 25-22, with Morado tossing 62 of the team’s 64 excellent sets in a match that took an hour and 23 minutes to finish at The Arena in San Juan.

“I think there was a lot of adjustment going on. Hindi naman pwede na dahil wala si Ate Ly, mawawalan kami ng aasahan sa loob ng court,” she said.

[See Soriano, Vargas star as Valdez-less Creamline rips Power Smashers to gain semis]

The former Ateneo star, who once registered 71 excellent sets in a four-set win over BaliPure, heeded to the call of Creamline coach Oliver Almadro to step up.

Valdez, the Cool Smashers’ top hitter, is currently in Japan for the training camp of the Philippine women’s team bound for the Southeast Asian Games,. She’s expected to miss Creamline’s next two games in the elimination round.

“Sabi nila coach kailangan maniwala na kaya naming pumuntos ng kami-kami (lang),” she said.

Morado took matters into her own hands as the Cool Smashers struggled for most of the match. They trailed, 6-12, in the first set, 13-19, in the second, before they managed to pull off a comeback in the third set, 20-22.

“Hindi naman kami na-discourage na naiiwan kami sa mga set,” she said. “Natutuwa nga ako na lahat ng points, we were fighting to get.”

Creamline advanced to the semifinals with a perfect 5-0 win-loss record.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @meilinlozada