ALYSSA Valdez shook off an ankle injury to lead Creamline past Tacloban in straight sets, 25-16, 25-16, 26-24, in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Season 2 Open Conference on Wednesday at the Arena in San Juan City.
Valdez had to leave the game late in the second set when she hurt her ankle after a bad landing, but the four-time league MVP returned to lead Creamline back from a 10-15 deficit in the third set.
She scored right away and helped her team erased a 20-23 deficit. She then scored four of the next five points before setter Jia Morado delivered the game-winner on a service ace.
“Si coach [Tai Bundit], kapag tumingin na 'yun alam mo na heartstrong na. Kung kaya naman lumaban, lalaban ka for the team,” Valdez said, referring to the coach's battle cry since their days at Ateneo.
“Siyempre kailangan i-fight din. May adrenaline naman kasi kahit nararamdaman mo na medyo masakit tapos nakikita mo na medyo down din naman ang team so kailangan tumulong.”
Valdez finished with 17 points built on 10 attacks, five service aces and two blocks including 11 excellent digs out of 15 attempts. Michele Gumabao delivered nine hits, while Pau Soriano, Jema Galanza and Risa Sato added eight points each.
Playmaker Morado distributed the offensive loads to her full-force squad with 26 excellent sets on top of three points.
By atoning for a loss to Ateneo-Motolite to start its second-round campaign two weeks ago in Batangas, Creamline improved to 7-2 win-loss and tied BanKo for second ahead of a match against Pocari Sweat-Air Force (5-5) on Sunday in Legazpi City.
Valdez has been limping since she had an awkward landing in the first set but she played through pain until she was fielded out late in the second set to get her ankle treated but the Cool Smashers managed to take the 2-0 set lead.
“Hindi ko rin alam sa paa ko pasulpot-sulpot. It’s been going on, matagal na rin. I think matagal na ito talaga,” she shared. “As much as possible we do a lot of therapy. I mean ginagawan naman ng paraan during trainings but I guess today gusto lang niyang sumulpot. Na-timingan lang siguro. Bad landing lang sa first set kaya medyo sumakit din.”
Nobody scored in double figures for Tacloban with Dimdim Pacres having the highest output of nine points as the Fighting Warays suffered their third straight setback and dropped to 4-7 for sixth place.