Alyssa Valdez plays through injury to lift Creamline over Air Force in thriller and snap skid in PVL
Alyssa Valdez was hobbling in the fifth set but still pulled through for Creamline. Dante Peralta

ALYSSA Valdez overcame an ankle injury and valiantly played through pain in the last two sets to lead Creamline out of its two-game losing skid with a 25-21, 28-26, 23-25, 12-25, 15-12 win over Philippine Air Force in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference at The Arena in San Juan on Saturday.

Valdez poured in 25 points, built on 23 kills, for the Cool Smashers, while Pau Soriano added 13, Francesca Racraquin added 11 and Ivy Remulla chipped in 10.

The former Ateneo star was down after an awkward landing with Air Force leading the fourth set, 22-9, but Valdez was quick to get back up as she shrugged off the pain.

“Eh talagang mahirap kapag walang katulong si Alyssa. Mabuti nag-step up ‘yung iba kahit konti,” said Creamline assistant coach Sherwin Meneses. 

Tied, 9-all, Creamline cruised to the match point, 14-11, before Joy Cases saved the match point, 12-14.

Valdez scored on a perfectly timed set as she bailed out the Cool Smashers, who improved to 2-3 after escaping an error-plagued match (46 errors) that took two hours and 21 minutes to finish. 

The extended match only showed Creamline’s dire need of the imports to help ease the burden on Valdez’s shoulders.

Halfway through the tournament but still the team’s imports American Laura Schaudt and Thai Kuttika Kaewpin are still unable to play due to lack of the International Transfer Certificate from the FIVB.

“First game pa lang talagang kailangan na namin ang imports kasi medyo late nabuo ang team kaya kailangan talaga (ng imports),” said Meneses.

Cases made 21 points for Air Force, while Jocemer Tapic added 14. The Lady Jet Spikers dropped to 1-5. 

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