MANILA, Philippines — After ruling the 2023 Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference, the Creamline Cool Smashers will banner the Philippine women’s volleyball team in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia in May.
There will be no rest for Creamline even coming off a hard-fought PVL Finals series against Petro Gazz as seven of their players will be part of the national team, which is eyeing its first medal since the country’s bronze finish in 2005.
“We are committed to helping the national team in the SEA Games. That’s our next priority of our team, help the country win a medal. With seven players from Creamline, we hope to help the national team,” said Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses, who will work with Brazilian coach Jorge Souza de Brito.
Alyssa Valdez, who missed PVL’s first conference due to a right knee injury, is part of the line-up for the fifth straight biennial meet.
Three-time MVP Tots Carlos will play her first SEA Games, while Finals MVP and Best Setter Jia De Guzman returns in the regional tournament after skipping last year’s edition in Vietnam.
Jema Galanza, Michele Gumabao, Celine Domingo, and libero Kyla Atienza were also called up for the national team, which placed fourth in the last two editions.
“We have seven players, so at least we can also share to them our culture, the happy-happy mentality. Hopefully we can bring that and contribute to the national team,” said Gumabao. “So we’re just ready for the challenge and to be able to work with a new set of coaches and teammates.”
“It’s also good for us to experience this high level of competition,” she added.
The federation has yet to bare the full line-up for this year’s SEA Games.
Creamline represented the country in the AVC Cup for Women where it placed a decent sixth. The Cool Smashers also saw action in the Asean Grand Prix, ending up in last place among the four Southeast Asian teams.
The women’s volleyball national team will train in Japan next month.
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