CAGAYAN DE ORO – Alyssa Valdez and the rest of the Creamline Cool Smashers received massive cheers from the 9,862-strong crowd at the Aquilino Q. Pimentel International Convention Center here.
This is the second time that the Rebisco-backed squad played in an out-of-town match in the Premier Volleyball League Second All-Filipino Conference, suiting up at the Batangas Sports Center, where they defeated Cignal in straight sets.
Both times, the Cool Smashers were welcomed by huge roaring crowds clad in pink, similar to the ones they were accustomed to back in the Metro. It continues to amaze them how they have touched these fans who always go out of their way to provide support.
“Alam mo honestly, it’s very far talaga parang bundok na talaga itong venue and ‘di namin inaakala na everyone would drive talaga going here as a family, as friends,” said Batangas-native Valdez, who finally played a full game after playing sparingly in the team’s past few matches.
Valdez, 30, said that the constant support from the fans is what pushes them to strive hard in practices and perform at their best in games.
“Hindi nakakasawa mag-laro at mag-improve kami sa craft namin dahil sa kanila din.
“I think it gives them joy, it gives us joy. Yun naman gusto namin mapasaya din yung mga nanonood and it’s just so nice na we can unite through sports,” said the three-time conference MVP.
Determined to give the Cagayanons a show, Valdez put up her best performance yet in the season-ending conference, scoring a team-high 13 points to go along with 10 excellent receptions to help the Cool Smashers sweep PLDT.
As one of the sport’s leading advocates, the decorated spiker hopes that the league can bring more games to different provinces so that they can inspire more kids to play volleyball.
“Hopefully, mas marami pa tayong mapuntahan na province para maging aware yung mga kabataan na they can also play volleyball and other sports as well. Looking forward to seeing them and looking forward to hearing them cheer our team and other teams.”