PVL: Alyssa Valdez thrilled to return site of Creamline’s 2018 title run
MANILA, Philippines — Alyssa Valdez is elated to make a comeback at Mall of Asia Arena after four years as Creamline eyes sweep of sister team Choco Mucho in their best-of-three semifinals series in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference.
The three-time PVL MVP is set to return at MOA Arena on Sunday for the first time since steering Creamline to a 2018 Reinforced Conference title after sweeping PayMaya in the series.
Valdez reminisced her past big moments in the PVL and UAAP as the professional league decided to bring its games at MOA Arena to accommodate more spectators after some didn’t make it inside San Juan Arena.
“It’s been a while since we’ve had a game in MOA. The last game was the championship of PVL in 2018. It’s good to be back. I had a lot of memories there in the UAAP and PVL,” said Valdez, who scored 17 points in their 25-18, 17-25, 25-19, 25-11 victory over Choco Mucho on Friday at San Juan Arena.
“It will be an extra inspiration for us heading into the court,” she added.
As the semifinalists are set to receive an extra inspiration with more fans coming in Game 2, the Philippine women’s volleyball team star said they have to keep their focus in a mental game against their sibling team.
“It’s a mental game. We’re two intense teams, very competitive teams and rivals. We just followed coach (Sherwin Meneses)’s system and did our respective roles to get this win,” Valdez said. “Honestly, at the end of the day, we will really give our best every single game.”
After moving a win away from a sixth straight Finals appearance, the former Ateneo star stressed the Cool Smashers should not let their guards down as they expect more dangerous Flying Titans in Game 2.
“At least we gained a huge morale booster and motivation to keep on working harder every single training and preparation from this win,” Valdez said. “For sure, Choco Mucho will not go down without a fight and prepare harder for Game 2.“