MANILA, Philippines – Alyssa Valdez is excited to showcase her full potential for Creamline after recovering from a right knee injury ahead of their three-peat bid in the second Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Filipino Conference this year.
The three-time PVL Most Valuable Player missed Cool Smashers’ second consecutive All-Filipino Championship last April due to a right knee injury she suffered during last year’s Reinforced Conference.
Seven months after her injury, Valdez returned to action for the Philippine women’s volleyball team at the 32nd Southeast Asian Games and for Creamline at the Invitational Conference, but missed the final two sets of their 19-25, 25-23, 25-19, 20 -25, 13-15 loss to Kurashiki Ablaze of Japan in the final last July.
After a long break, the 30-year-old outside striker showed that she is already doing better in practice as Creamline defended her crown in last year’s second All-Filipino, starting on Sunday against sister team Choco Mucho, at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“I’m just happy that I can keep up with them during training. I finally have the opportunity to show my full potential in practice,” said Valdez. “Having an injury is a journey. We do it step by step. Our coaches and team are very patient.”
“Hopefully I can apply what the coaches have taught us. I am ready for any situation where my coaches need me,” she added.
Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses said all of his players are 100 percent healthy, including Valdez, after making the most of their three-month break for the season-ending conference.
“We were able to prepare well for the upcoming conference because we had more time. But this conference will last longer, so I hope our players will stay healthy as they have already recovered from their injuries,” Meneses said in Filipino. “Hopefully we can apply the things we train in our first match and make the necessary adjustments.”
Facing eleven teams – including new teams Nxled and Galeries – in the biggest PVL to date, Valdez will rely on the familiarity and winning culture of her team with six titles.
“How many years have we been here? We are going to do our best. As far as health and fitness is concerned, it is a very crucial part of this conference because this is the last part of the year. We’ve had two conferences already,” Valdez said.
In addition to preparing for the three-month tournament, Creamline’s biggest challenge will be playing without eight-time Best Setter and four-time Finals MVP Jia De Guzman, who will debut in Japan’s V.League next week with the Denso AiryBees.
Both Valdez and Meneses have confidence in Kyle Negrito, who will be the team’s primary setter this conference.
“It was difficult to adapt without Jia. But we were able to prepare for that during the long break. And Kyle is here. Hopefully Kyle will do her best for the team. Having a new starter is not a problem for us because we have the same system,” Meneses said.
Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses and Alyssa Valdez on defending their All-Filipino Conference title without setter Jia De Guzman. #PVL2023
Posted by Researcher Sports on Wednesday, October 11, 2023