Facing her alma mater for the first time since graduating, Alyssa Valdez waxed hot and led the Creamline Cool Smashers past the Ateneo-Motolite Lady Eagles, 25-23, 25-17, 25-14, to end the PVL Open Conference first round at the Baliwag Star Arena.
The three-time UAAP MVP powered in 19 points on 19-for-36 attacking to go with 11 digs. Valdez was especially dominant in the last two sets wherein she fired 12 points.
Creamline, after struggling in the first set, found their way in the last two frames, relying on their serving to stifle Ateneo, who were without veterans Maddie Madayag, Ponggay Gaston, and Kat Tolentino.
“We know naman na collegiate players and their in amazing shape, kundisyon talaga. Siguro, for us, we tried to show our experience,” said Valdez.
Another former Lady Eagle, Jia Morado, proved pivotal for Creamline as she tossed 28 excellent sets and got on the board for eight points.
After surrendering their first match, the Cool Smashers have won their all last outings.
Rookie Vanie Gandler led Ateneo with 10 points, while the towering Samantha Fanger added nine.
Ateneo-Motolite settled at second at the end of the first round with a 5-2 card.
Creamline (3) – Valdez 19, Galanza 10, Morado 8, Mandapat 7, Cayetano 6, Bravo 2, Gutierrez 2, Cabanos 0, Atienza (L), Gohing (L)
Ateneo-Motolite (0) – Gandler 10, Fanger 9, De Leon 5, Raagas 5, Samonte 5, Wong 1, Delos Reyes 0, Gequillana 0, Peralta (L), Ravena (L)