Sweep wasn’t easy
To many, it looked like Creamline was head and shoulders above the competition in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference and that a championship was virtually preordained.
Don’t tell that to the backbone of the Cool Smashers’ offense.
Alyssa Valdez swore that the team’s championship romp late Saturday night, when it blanked PetroGazz in the finale to complete a record sweep of the conference, was far from the smooth run Creamline made it look like.
“We went through a lot of struggles and challenges this conference,” said Valdez who scored 19 points in Creamline’s 29-27, 25-22, 27-25 win over PetroGazz in Game 2.
Valdez missed five games in the long, double-round conference but the Cool Smashers still managed to win all 20 matches all the way to the title.
“Me personally, I was out a few games and I saw how my teammates stepped up. That’s where I saw our full potential,” said Valdez, who had to divide her time between Creamline and the national team preparing for the Southeast Asian Games.
Setter Jia Morado said the road to the sweep was filled with obstacles.
“But we really made it a point to power through and be there for each other and trust our whole coach staff,” she said.
Conference Most Valuable Player Jema Galanza said what the people didn’t see was the perseverance that the team showed, especially under the watch of coach Tai Bundit, who is known to be very stringent when it comes to drills and fitness routines.
“We experienced much hardships and sacrifices this conference, there were a lot of stories behind the scene,” said Galanza, who said the players had to be up 5 a.m. for the 6 a.m. grind every single day.
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