Mon. Jun 5th, 2023

Alyssa Valdez (middle, first row) celebrates the Creamline Cool Smashers' latest title.  –PVL PHOTO

Alyssa Valdez (middle, first row) celebrates the Creamline Cool Smashers’ latest title. –PVL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — With Creamline bannering the Philippine women’s volleyball team, Alyssa Valdez remains upbeat about her chances of returning to action in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia in May.

After sitting out all the games in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference due to a right knee injury, Valdez still can’t say she would be 100 percent recovered when the Cool Smashers shift their focus to the national team.

But she hopes to return as soon as possible as she joins six other Creamline players, as well as coach Sherwin Meneses, in beefing up the Philippine women’s volleyball team, which tries to end an 18-year drought drought this edition.

“I’m really recovering well and hopefully we’ll see each other on the court soon. Hopefully, really soon. My doctors, PTs, coaches also really want me back 100% so really have to be patient and trust the process,” said Valdez after Creamline beat Petro Gazz in Finals Game 3 to complete a golden repeat.

“There’s always a chance. Even if it’s a small chance I’ll grab it to help the national team. If they call me and if I’m ready, I’ll be there for the team,” she added.

Valdez will represent the country for the fifth straight time.

Creamline Cool Smashers win PVL All-Filipino Conference title.  –PVL PHOTO

Creamline Cool Smashers win PVL All-Filipino Conference title. –PVL PHOTO

But this time, the three-time PVL MVP will be joined by the Cool Smashers led by Tots Carlos, Jia De Guzman, Jema Galanza, Celine Domingo, Michele Gumabao, and libero Kyla Atienza.

Coach Sherwin Meneses will also be part of Jorge Souza de Brito’s coaching staff.

Valdez hopes their success in the PVL with six championships will help the national team to reach the podium this year.

“For the past years, we’re really looking for the system and familiarity of the team. Hopefully, it will be an advantage for us going into the SEA Games,” she said. “The team is always open to learning. We’re under coach Jorge as well so we really have to listen to him and apply the system that he wants us to do.”

The Cool Smashers, without Valdez due to dengue last year, represented the country in the AVC Cup for Women and they placed a decent sixth. They also saw action in the Asean Grand Prix but ended up the last place among the four Southeast Asian teams.

The national team will train in Japan next month.

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By cb2gp