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Valdez, Morado relieved to help Creamline get through semis



Tiebreaker Times Valdez, Morado relieved to help Creamline get through semis News PVL Volleyball  Jia Morado Creamline Cool Smashers Alyssa Valdez 2019 PVL Season 2019 PVL Open Conference

Days before the 2019 PVL Open Conference semifinals, two of Creamline’s vital cogs were miles away from Manila.

Ace hitter Alyssa Valdez and starting setter Jia Morado were among the delegates of the Philippines who flew to Japan for an extensive training camp in preparation for the 30th Southeast Asian Games last week.

But Valdez and Morado saw their training stint with the Nationals cut short. The two returned to the country on Friday in order to kick Creamline’s title-retention bid into higher gear.

Still, the return of the stellar duo to the rotation despite little to no preparation as a unit posed a threat for Creamline in the series opener against Motolite.

“Kahapon [Saturday], ‘di din naman namin naiwasan ‘yung kapaan kasi naka-two games ‘yung team na wala kami ni Ate Ly, kasi siyempre nasanay din sila na magkakasama sa loob ng court,” Morado recalled.

“Mahirap din ‘yung Friday night dumating kami tapos lalaro agad ng Saturday without training with the team.”

The Cool Smashers were far from their lethal form in the early-goings of Game One. Their high-octane offense tanked, opening the floodgates for Motolite’s early onslaught.

But the defending champions remained composed. They steadily regained their bearings, countering in the succeeding frames to close in on a Finals berth.

Creamline then completed a series sweep of Motolite in lopsided fashion less than a day after. It has also booked a return trip to the biggest stage of the tourney for the fourth consecutive conference.

“I’m really grateful kasi marami kaming pagsubok na dinaanan as a team, especially coming into the semifinals na nawala kami ni Ate Ly for a while,” bared Morado.

“We really banked on our experience together as a team for months, for years. We’re really happy na naitawid namin ang semifinals.”

But more than getting through the semifinals, Valdez and the Cool Smashers are grateful to be alongside each other for the first time in quite a while. And sure enough, they’ll be at full strength when they march into the title series against their Reinforced Conference tormentors Petro Gazz Angels on November 6.

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“Honestly for the first time, we’re complete as a team,” Valdez said.

“We’re just happy being all together, and hopefully mas magkaroon pa kami ng connection sa darating na Finals.”