Rivals turned teammates Valdez, Gumabao have ‘beautiful chemistry’
Alyssa Valdez and Michele Gumabao were once the faces of the decade’s two most successful programs in the UAAP volleyball landscape, and both were champions during their collegiate careers with Ateneo and De La Salle, respectively.
The two are currently teammates for Creamline in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference and their healthy brand of competition have pushed the Cool Smashers into early favorites.
Creamline rolled past PetroGazz, 25-18, 25-16, 25-13, in its opener Sunday at Filoil Flying V Centre, and the two were in unison in saying that part of the team’s identity were their intense competitiveness they’ve had since they were in college.
“It’s kind of weird being teammates with Michele but there’s a healthy competition inside the court that it really brings the best out of everyone,” said Valdez, who had 14 points in the opener.
“It’s fun because we’ve been rivals in the UAAP but we can actually play in one team and have this beautiful chemistry with each other,” added Valdez.
Gumabao was already a champion in the UAAP with La Salle when Valdez entered Ateneo and the legendary Lady Spiker added two more at the expense of her new Creamline teammate.
Once Gumabao graduated from La Salle, it was Valdez’s turn to get to the throne and she won two of her own at the expense of the Lady Spikers.
“It’s good to see that we’re all gelling together even though we came from different schools and different systems,” said Gumabao who had nine points for the Cool Smashers.
Gumabao and Valdez, however, warned that the season has just started and they shouldn’t be labeled as potential winners this early in the tournament.
“We can’t just predict everything because we have to work for it,” said Gumabao. “We don’t train like champions, we don’t train like winners, we train like in we’re in last place.”
“We’re pressured but happy but that’s a source of motivation for us to push ourselves further and it challenges us to perform well,” said Valdez.
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