Cool Smashers doubt AVC Cup stint
It all depends on the team management.
Creamline’s stint in the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Cup for Women is not yet a done deal after its star player — Alyssa Valdez — suffered an injury during its semifinal duel with KingWhale Taipei in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Invitational Conference.
According to a reliable Daily Tribune source, the Cool Smashers have yet to formally commit to represent the country in the prestigious Asian tourney that the country will host from 21 to 29 August at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
Making matters worse was the condition of Valdez, who suffered an ankle sprain after an awkward landing during the third set of their semifinal battle against the Taiwanese late Friday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.
With Valdez being reduced into a mere cheerleader, the Cool Smashers had to dig deep into their bench in the fourth set before fading in the fifth en route to a sorry 15-25, 25-17, 22-25, 26-24, 5-15 setback.
Still, the Cool Smashers will face the Taiwanese in the sudden-death finals at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday, but the status of Valdez, and another injured spiker in Jema Galanza, remains in limbo.
“It all depends on the team management,” a ranking Creamline official said, speaking on condition of anonymity pending the announcement of their final decision.
Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses agrees, saying that competing in the AVC is the last thing on their minds right now.
“As of now, we’re not thinking about the AVC Cup for Women,” Meneses said.
“We just want the team to focus on the PVL for now.”
The honor of representing the country in the AVC Cup actually belongs to the national women’s team, which is composed of the core of National University.
But after finding out that they couldn’t commit as last-minute replacements to Covid-hit Kobe Shinwa Women’s University in the PVL semis, the Philippine National Volleyball Federation fired all Lady Bulldogs in the national roster, leaving the country with no representative to the prestigious continental tourney.
With that, the federation decided to deploy the top-performing local team in the PVL to the AVC Cup just to make sure that the home team will be represented.
PLDT Home Fibr was the first to express its willingness to join, but the distinction belongs to Creamline after winning its first three semifinal games to advance to the finals of the Invitational Conference.
PVL commissioner Tonyboy Liao, however, stressed that everything is under control.
“I already informed Creamline and PLDT and asked them if they want to represent the Philippines in the AVC Cup after the PVL. They said yes,” said Liao, also the chairperson of the national team commission of the PNVF.
Liao stressed that should they push through, the Cool Smashers have to parade their full roster, leaving no room for national team holdovers in Trisha Mae Genesis and Jelaica Gajero.
Genesis and Gajero will instead be reserved for future international tournaments.
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