CREAMLINE superstar Alyssa Valdez is proud of the Ateneo-Motolite Lady Eagles but she and the Cool Smashers are bracing for a tough best-of-three Finals series for the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference championship.
Unfazed last Saturday on what team they will be facing in the Finals between Ateneo-Motolite and BanKo, Valdez said that if the Lady Eagles will advance to the Finals and prevail over the hungry and veteran-laden Perlas Spikers, she will be proud of her former team.
“If Ateneo will go to the Finals, we’re very proud talaga sa young girls na nagpapakita ng heart strong talaga and siyempre with their new system nagaadjust din sila so I think it’s working for them,” said Valdez, who delivered 14 points as Creamline booked the Finals with a 21-25, 25-18, 25-21, 25-23 victory over Petro Gazz on Saturday at the Arena in San Juan City.
And the Lady Eagles did it coming back from a two-set deficit before outlasting the Perlas Spikers in thrilling five sets, 21-25, 23-25, 25-17, 27-25, 21-19, in a do-or-die Game 3 semifinals on Sunday to forge a best-of-three title series with Creamline starting on Wednesday at the same venue.
The four-time PVL Most Valuable Player also said that in playing back-to-back games, Ateneo-Motolite had more advantage with its youth and fast-recovery.
“Sanay sila na laging pukpukan talaga,” Valdez said. “I think sa mga bata katulad ng Ateneo medyo may advantage sila kasi yung routine nila as a student-athlete kahit pagod nagtetraining, kahit pagod naglalaro andiyan na yan.”
As the former three-time UAAP MVP together with Jia Morado and Fille Cainglet-Cayetano and coach Tai Bundit face their former team, Valdez thinks that the Lady Eagles will be bringing the confidence from their second round five-set win against the Cool Smashers in Batangas last month.
“I think sa Ateneo yung difference lang nung nanalo kami hindi sila kumpleto siyempre meron pa ring advantage yung confidence din ng mga bata na nanalo sila ng kompleto sila,” said Valdez, whose team defeated a depleted Ateneo-Motolite in the first round but loss to a full-force Lady Eagles in the second round.
And for Valdez, whoever has the better mindset and willingness to win, will get the advantage in the series.
“At the end of the day, I think it’s really the mindset going to the finals yung magdidifferentiate kung sino mas lalamang sa games,” she said. “Ang sarap lang sa feeling na bumalik sa finals kahit anong conference pa ‘yan I think every team’s goal is to be in the finals, na-achieve na namin ‘yun so on to the next naman.”