BALIPURE top hitter Jerrili Malabanan is wary of the team’s tendency to become overconfident after a won game in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference.
A bigger concern is on whether the league's top star, Alyssa Valdez, would rejoin top seed Creamline in time for its best-of-three semifinal series against BaliPure.
The Water Defenders secured the last Final Four berth on Sunday night after a 25-21, 25-16, 25-23 win over defending champion Pocari Sweat at The Arena in San Juan.
BaliPure looked good in the game but Malabanan said the team will have to come up with the same intensity if it hopes to topple unbeaten Creamline in the playoffs.
“When we enjoy ourselves, coach (Roger Gorayeb) always tells us that it’s good we’re enjoying but we have to stay calm and focused. He’s the one that calms us down,” said Malabanan.
Game One is on Saturday and there is the possibility that Creamline star Valdez will play for Creamline after her two-week training camp in Japan with the national women's team.
Valdez and the team are set arrive on Wednesday and there is no word if the former Ateneo star will play in the league upon her return.
But with or without Valdez, Malabanan said Creamline will be tough to overcome, pointing out that the Cool Smashers won three games in their star's absence to complete a seven-game sweep of the eliminations.
“Even though they don’t have Ate Alyssa, they’ve been performing well without her so I think we can’t underestimate her and our team has to keep improving especially on our service and receive,” said the former Far Eastern University ace.