Valdez bucks sprained ankle to lift Cool Smashers; Bundit coming back
Alyssa Valdez is healthy and a familiar coach is about to make a return to Creamline.
Things are certainly starting to look a lot better for the Cool Smashers in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference.
Showing no signs of the sprain she suffered last time around, Valdez powered the defending champion to a straight-set win over PacificTown-Army, 25-21, 25-16, 25-18, on Wednesday at Filoil Flying V Centre.
There were concerns on the 25-year-old star’s ankle but she immediately quashed them with a dominant performance. The former Ateneo stalwart, however, admitted that the injury gave her quite the jolt because her “biggest fear is to get injured,” she said, superstitiously knocking on the wooden table at the press room to deflect ill luck.
“I’ve been injury-free for the longest time,” Valdez said. “But it’s a wake-up call for me to take care of my body. Of course you can’t prevent freak accidents, but yes, I feel better now.”
Valdez said her ankle still is sore after a bad fall in their loss to PetroGazz on Sunday.
But the pain didn’t stop her from producing 12 points for the Cools Smashers, who evened their record to 1-1 also behind the 13 points of Michele Gumabao and 12 of import Aleoscar Blanco.
Later in the evening, import Janisa Johnson scored 21 points as PetroGazz won its second straight victory, beating debuting BanKo Perlas, 25-19, 25-21, 25-12.
“This time around I know what to do and expect, and these guys made it easy for me to adjust,” said the 27-year-old Johnson, who played for BaliPure last year.
Creamline assistant coach Ed Ortega called the shots after Chinese coach Li Huanning was sacked in the aftermath of the team’s opening loss. Former coach Tai Bundit, who led the team to a couple of championships, is reportedly set to make a comeback for the team.
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