CREAMLINE offered its sixth Premier Volleyball League [PVL] championship - the most in the pro league's young history - to its heart and soul Alyssa Valdez.
This is the first time Valdez did not see action in Creamline’s eight finals appearances -five of which ended in championships under her leadership.
"Dine-dedicate namin to a lot of people pero malaking inspiration talaga namin si ate Ly," Michele Gumabao said after Creamline beat Petro Gazz in the deciding Game Three of the 2023 PVL All-Filipino Conference Finals on Thursday at Mall of Asia Arena.
"Kasama siya lagi sa motivation ng bawat isa because andiyan siya everyday sa practice kahit hindi siya nakakalaro. She's always there to support kapag kailangan din namin ng wake-up call."
Valdez was ruled out of the conference after sustaining an undisclosed knee injury in December 2022.
Since then, the three-time PVL MVP has been the team's biggest cheerleader.
"Malaking part na ma-dedicate namin to for Alyssa para hindi siya masyadong maraming iniisip kasi she has to focus on her recovery and getting back to her 100 percent," Gumabao added.
Despite missing the championship run of the Cool Smashers, Valdez said she was extremely proud of her team.
"I'm just very very proud of them. Sabi ko since Day One, I've seen them really work hard. Super focused sila sa goal this conference. I'm very proud and very happy na na-achieve ng buong team kung ano yung pinaghirapan this conference," she said.
Valdez said a third-place finish at the 2022 Reinforced Conference motivated the team to go all the way.
"Hindi kami healthy or kumpleto health-wise, so at the end of the day, we had to find something na paghuhugutan namin," Valdez shared.
"It's really the struggles and challenges namin ilang months na 'to. 'Yun yung pinanghuhugutan namin ng lakas and 'yun yung naging reason nnamin bakit sila nag champion this conference."