Valdez, beefed-up Creamline test mettle of Petro Gazz
Steph Mercado didn’t have to think too hard about the team she is most excited to face in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference. As one of the leading stars of new team Petro Gazz, Mercado immediately set her sights on a formidable foe.
“It’s Creamline,” she said.
Partly, she admitted, it’s because Creamline is the Angels’ first assignment in their very first foray into club volleyball. But Mercado also wants a stern measure of how Petro Gazz will fare this conference.
“Two of my former teammates will be suiting up for them,” Mercado said, referring to former La Salle stars Michelle Gumabao and Melissa Gohing. “That’s two added guns to a team that’s already competitive and that’s been preparing intensely for this tournament.”
Gumabao and Gohing beef up a Creamline squad that will be powered by a very determined Alyssa Valdez, who shelved plans to play abroad as an import specifically to help the Cool Smashers nail a first championship.
Valdez will be armed to the teeth for that mission. Aside from Gumabao and Gohing, the Cool Smashers will field former Ateneo star Jia Morado, NU standout Risa Sato, veteran Pau Soriano and imports Kuttika Kaewpin of Thailand and Nikolina Asceric of Serbia.
“I’m excited to play because we have a good team, a very good one,” said Valdez, who missed key games last year after suiting up for 3BB Nakornnont in Thailand and Attack Line in Chinese Taipei and the national team.
“We know it’s going to be a tough season because all the teams are really strong. But our goal is to win the championship and we will do our best to win it,” said Valdez.
Creamline and Petro Gazz duel at 4 p.m., right after the 2 p.m. showdown between Tacloban and PayMaya.
As supercharged as the Creamline roster is, Petro Gazz doesn’t exactly lag in talent.
Aside from Mercado, coach Jerry Yee will have the likes of Wensh Tiu, Chie Saet, Djanel Cheng, Cai Nepomuceno and Ranya Musa. Reinforcing the squad are Kadi Kullerkann of Estonia and Anastasia Trach of Ukraine.