PVL: Alyssa Valdez eager to unleash full potential again after injury battle
MANILA, Philippines — Alyssa Valdez is excited to show her full potential for Creamline after recovering from a right knee injury ahead of their ‘three-peat’ bid in the second Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Filipino Conference this year.
The three-time PVL Most Valuable Player missed the Cool Smashers’ second straight All-Filipino Championship last April due to a right knee injury she sustained last year in the Reinforced Conference.
Seven months after her injury, Valdez returned to action for the Philippine women’s volleyball team in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games and for Creamline in the Invitational Conference only to miss the last two sets of their 19-25, 25-23, 25-19, 20-25, 13-15 loss to Kurashiki Ablaze of Japan in the final last July.
Coming off a long break, the 30-year-old outside spiker bared that she is already doing better in practice as Creamline defends its crown in the second All-Filipino last year starting on Sunday against sister team, Choco Mucho, at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“I’m just happy that I can keep up with them during training. I finally have the chance to show my full potential in practice,” said Valdez. “Having an injury is a journey. We’re taking it one step at a time. Our coaches and the team are very patient.”
“Hopefully I’m able to apply what the coaches have taught us. I’m ready for any situation where my coaches need me,” she added.
Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses said that all of his players are 100 percent healthy including Valdez after making the most of their three-month break for the season-ending conference.
“We were able to prepare well for this coming conference because we had a longer time. But this conference will be longer so I hope our players will stay healthy since they already recovered from their injuries,” Meneses said in Filipino. “Hopefully, we will be able to apply the things we train on our first game and make the necessary adjustments.”
Facing 11 teams — including new squads Nxled and Galeries — in the biggest PVL yet, Valdez is banking on her team’s familiarity and winning culture with six titles.
“We’ve been here for how many years. We’re gonna do our best. Health-wise, condition-wise, it’s a very crucial part of this conference because this is the latter part of the year. We’ve had two conferences already,” Valdez said.
More than the conditioning for the three-month tournament, Creamline’s biggest challenge is playing without eight-time Best Setter and four-time Finals MVP Jia De Guzman, who will debut in Japan V.League with the Denso AiryBees next week.
Both Valdez and Meneses have faith in Kyle Negrito, who will be the team’s main setter this conference.
“It was hard to adjust without Jia. But we were able to prepare for that during the long break. And Kyle is there. Hopefully, Kyle will do her best for the team. Having a new starting setter is not a problem for us because we have the same system,” said Meneses.
Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses and Alyssa Valdez on defending their All-Filipino Conference title without setter Jia De Guzman. #PVL2023
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Wednesday, October 11, 2023