Excited Alyssa, Cool Smashers will take the learning with the winning
Alyssa Valdez has had her dose of international competition before, but the prolific Creamline scorer can’t wait to lead her side against two foreign teams in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Invitational Conference semifinals because she wants to know what she and the Cool Smashers as a whole will be all about against such opposition.
“As a team, this is the first time that we will compete against international teams,” said Valdez, the spearhead of several national teams in the past. “We’re really looking forward to learning more and gaining experience from our opponents.”
The PLDT-Army tussle takes the lid off of the playoffs at 4 p.m. on Tuesday at Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan, and Creamline doesn’t see action until Thursday at Ynares Center in Antipolo City against the Lady Troopers.
And make no mistake about it, Valdez wants to win another title for Creamline but knows that there’s a lot more to this playoff stint.
“We’re very excited as a team and I feel like we will learn a lot from them,” Valdez said, referring to the Kobe Shinwa of Japan and KingWhale of Taipei sides that will make their debuts on Aug. 8 at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Cool Smashers topped the elimination round with a 5-1 record, their only loss coming at the hands of Cignal HD. And with the semifinals being a round robin affair, Valdez knows that there’s very little room for error.
“Hopefully, our team will become stronger in the upcoming games,” said Valdez, who continues to insist that they are the “underdogs” here.
“The way my teammates and I think is that we’re always the underdogs. We take each game that we still have a lot of things to prove,” she said. “And I feel like winning is something that boosts our morale.
“More than the confidence, our team bond has become more solid and it’s very important coming into the crucial games next round.”
Meanwhile, the High Speed Hitters will be looking to repeat over the Lady Troopers, whom they beat, 17-25, 25-11, 25-20, 25-18, in their only elimination round meeting.
PLDT tied Cignal HD for second at the end of classification to easily make the playoffs, Army got a huge lift from ousted Petro Gazz, which clipped Choco Mucho, for the last semifinal slot reserved for the local teams. INQ