Alyssa remains grounded

Creamline is not yet ready to bring back Alyssa Valdez, who is still recovering from a knee injury he suffered late last year. Photo courtesy of PVL

Creamline will continue to march into the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference missing a key piece in its title-retention bid.

Veteran leader Alyssa Valdez remains unavailable for the Cool Smashers as she recuperates from a knee injury she sustained December last year.

Head coach Sherwin Meneses ruled out the possibility of open spiker suiting up in the Final Four after missing the entire elimination round. 

“Actually, we have prepared the team without Ly even before the start of the season,” Meneses said following Creamline’s 25-17, 25-22, 27-29, 25-8, win over Akari last Tuesday at the University of San Agustin Gym in Iloilo City.

“As of now, she’s not ready to play. Our no. 1 priority of course is her health,” he added.

The Cool Smashers closed the elimination round with a 7-1 win-loss record. Creamline has also clinched the top seeding in the best-of-three semifinals slated to begin on Saturday.  

Valdez, who flew with the squad in the league’s first out-of-town game of the season, will be missing the club’s semis stint for the first time since 2017.

The 29-year-old team captain suffered a right knee injury during the battle for third against Chery Tiggo in the PVL Reinforced Conference last year. Valdez underwent an unspecified procedure on her knee last month and has been recovering since. 

Creamline is still waiting for its semis opponent between F2 Logistics and PLDT, which will face Choco Mucho at the close of eliminations today. 

No. 2 seed Petro Gazz and F2 Logistics are tied with 6-2 slates while PLDT carries a 5-2 card. If the High Speed Hitters win in their last assignment, they will clinch the no. 3 spot by virtue of higher match points compared to the Cargo Movers.

F2 Logistics is the lone squad that dealt Creamline its only loss in the season-opening tournament. The Cool Smashers bowed down to the Cargo Movers in their two encounters.

Meneses said that his wards will be preparing well as the Cool Smashers are out for redemption after missing the import-laden conference Finals for the first time since 2018.            

“We are continuously preparing and training to improve heading into the semis. Let’s see which team we will face in the semis, there’s still a remaining game in the elims. So, we’ll just wait,” Meneses said.

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