PVL: Michele Gumabao dedicates Creamline win to Alyssa Valdez

Michele Gumabao Creamline PVL

Michele Gumabao. PVL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Michele Gumabao offered Creamline’s first win to injured teammate Alyssa Valdez, who sat out on opening day of the 2023 Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

With Valdez still recovering from a right knee injury she sustained last December in the Reinforced Conference, Gumabao stepped up to fill in the void and led Creamline’s 25-18, 25-20, 25-22 victory over rival Petro Gazz on Saturday.

Gumabao delivered 13 points built on 11 attacks, one block, and an ace, and conspired with Celine Domingo to close out the third set to win their first assignment without the three-time MVP.

“We’re offering this win to Ly since she is not yet able to come back. We also don’t want to stress her and rush her return,” said Gumabao in Filipino.

The veteran opposite spiker lauded the flexibility of the Cool Smashers as anyone from the team can play multiple positions, like Tots Carlos, who delivered the goods as an outside hitter.

“As coach said, in volleyball, you have to study and try different positions. We have a lot of players and the reason we didn’t make any changes in our line up because the coaches trust all the players,” said Gumabao. “The support of the second six is there. Whoever checks in will deliver. That’s why our coaches are giving us a chance to play.”

The former La Salle star said that facing Open Conference finalist and Reinforced Conference champion Petro Gazz was a good test for their team to kick off their title-retention bid.

“I think our first game was a blessing and good training for us being able to win the tight [last two sets]. Because our previous lapses were during the final points of the last set. Sometimes we tend to relax and our coaches keep on reminding us to keep playing, not to stop,” Gumabao said.

“In our first game, at least we built our self-confidence,” she added.

As Valdez continues to miss games, Gumabao seeks to sustain Creamline’s momentum when the Cool Smashers battle Cignal on Thursday at FilOil EcoOil Centre.