Alyssa Valdez is not one to talk about her legacy, but she admits that she had forgotten what it feels like to win a championship.
Before Wednesday, Valdez – a perennial member of the National Team and Most Valuable Player candidate – had fielded criticisms for last leading a team to a championship in 2015.
Every year, the 25-year-old has enjoyed individual success that got in the way of her club’s campaign, especially with the Cool Smashers last year.
When PayMaya import Tess Rountree served out and signaled the end of the 2018 Reinforced Conference Finals, no one was more animated than the four-time PVL MVP.
Scoring 19 points in the title-clinching Game Two, Valdez relished her newfound championship high.
“It’s weird because I don’t know really the feeling nung last time na nag-champion talaga ako,” Valdez said. “So hindi ko talaga alam, but it feels so good na nakakuha kami ng panalo and championship this conference. I think it’s really the same exact people from last year na team namin na Creamline.
“I think that’s another milestone kasi hindi kami nabuwag or nasira. So nadagdagan pa kami. I think that’s another milestone for the team.”
Valdez’s Creamline family got much bigger in the offseason. They added known-champions Michele Gumabao and Melissa Gohing, two of Valdez’s longest rivals dating back to her UAAP career.
Once foiling Valdez’s championship aspirations, the MGs helped her get the title back.
“Definitely super big help talaga, not only in scoring, [pati ‘yung] na-contribute nila sa floor defense, blocking, leadership talaga,” Valdez said of her new teammates.
“I think that’s one of the advantages of having veterans na nadagdag sa team. Hindi lang rin naman sila, I think yung re-entry ni Laura [Schaudt] also helped the team. Maraming factors,” she added.
“But the little and the big MG really helped the team.”