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Having intact lineup to pay dividends for Valdez-less Creamline, says Gumabao

Michele Gumabao and the rest of Creamline just showed that they are more than ready to hold the fort for team captain Alyssa Valdez in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference as she recovers from her knee injury, Saturday night.

The Cool Smashers made quick work of archrival Petro Gazz, 25-18, 25-20, 25-22, to open their title-retention bid with a bang at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

Gumabao said that they are dedicating the game to their injured skipper, who watched the game from the sidelines as she is still recuperating from a right knee injury she sustained during their bronze medal match against Chery Tiggo in the 2022 Reinforced Conference last December.PVL-AFC-2023-Creamline-vs.-Petrogazz-Michele-Gumabao-8261 Having intact lineup to pay dividends for Valdez-less Creamline, says Gumabao News PVL Volleyball  - philippine sports news

“Ino-offer din namin ‘to kay Ly, since hindi pa siya makabalik. Ayaw din namin na ma-stress siya, bilisan niya ‘yung pagbalik,” said the 30-year-old opposite spiker.

“So ano naman, ang dami naman din naming tao, so the reason why hindi rin naman kami nag-palit ng line-up, and may tiwala sa amin ‘yung mga coaches namin is because andoon naman ‘yung support din talaga from the second six. So kahit sino talaga ang ipasok, yun naman ‘yung training namin. Lahat naman binibigyan ng chance nila coach,” she added.

Gumabao, along with Ced Domingo, led the scoring for the Rebisco-backed squad with 13 points each while Tots Carlos did almost everything, finishing with 11 points, 15 excellent receptions, and nine digs in the victory over the Angels.

Jia De Guzman did an amazing job steering the offense, dishing out 27 excellent sets in just three sets played while Jeanette Panaga and Jema Galanza also did their part and combined for 16 points.

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Aside from dedicating the game to Valdez, Gumabao said that the win over the reigning Reinforced Conference champion is also a huge confidence booster for the Cool Smashers moving forward.

“I think ano din, blessing din talaga sa amin ‘yung first game na ‘to, because magandang training din ‘to para sa amin na ganoon ‘yung score, and to be able to win. Kasi before, ‘yun ‘yung nagiging lapses talaga namin, ‘yung diin, ‘yung final points pagdating ng last set,” said the 13th V-League Reinforced Conference Finals MVP.

“Minsan tumitigil, minsan nagre-relax. So, lagi kami talagang nire-remind nila coach na kailangan tuloy-tuloy kami, not to stop. And itong first game na ‘to, at least it will build ‘yung confidence namin sa sarili namin.”

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