ALYSSA Valdez will not see action for Creamline in a Premier Volleyball League semifinals for the first time in over five years as she continues to recover from a knee injury.
This, however, doesn't seem to worry head coach Sherwin Meneses.
Even without the three-time PVL MVP, the Cool Smashers led by Jia De Guzman, Tots Carlos and Jema Galanza remained in impeccable form as they swept through the 2023 PVL All-Filipino Conference elims with the loss of just one game.
"Actually nag-prepare naman kami ng wala si Ly bago mag-start 'yung season kasi as of now, hindi pa siya talaga pwede maglaro," Meneses confirmed after Creamline put away Akari, 25-17, 25-22, 29-27, 25-8, on Tuesday in Iloilo City.
"Number one priority pa rin 'yung health niya. So [continue] lang namin 'yung preparation namin sa kada araw sa training para mag-improve. Then, let's see... kung sino 'yung makakalaban namin sa semis."
As the top seed, Creamline will face the fourth seed which will either be F2 Logistics (6-2) or PLDT (5-2), depending on the High Speed Hitters' match against also-ran Choco Mucho on Thursday at the PhilSports Arena.
A win by PLDT would put the Cargo Movers - the only team that beat Creamline in the eliminations - at the fourth spot while a loss would pit the High Speed Hitters against the defending champions in a best-of-three semifinals.
Meneses isn't too worried about the pairings, saying the priority is to improve after Creamline dropped a set against the Power Chargers.
"Marami pa kaming dapat i-improve pagpasok ng semifinals. Consistency, napaka-importante... Every point, kailangan namin mag-focus sa kada point. Kasi kita niyo naman, noong third set medyo hindi maganda 'yung nilaro namin," Meneses said.