Alyssa Valdez admitted Creamline was undone by one too many errors in a four-set loss to Cignal on Thursday night in the 2022 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Invitational Conference.
“Hindi kami nagkulang. Nasobrahan yung errors namin,” she said in jest after Creamline suffered its first loss in three games and ended up in a triple tie for second place with Army-Black Mamba and PLDT behind unbeaten Cignal.
“Unfortunately we had so many unforced errors. So I guess ‘yun.”
The loss was actually the Cool Smashers’ first in 11 games – their last defeat dating back to Game 3 of the Open Conference Finals against Chery Tiggo held at Ilocos Norte.
Still, Valdez is sticking to the positives, saying the loss came early in the tournament and can only serve as a wake-up call for the Cool Smashers, especially with the marquee game against Choco Mucho coming on Saturday.
“We’ll take it as a challenge and it’s an extra motivation for us kasi sometimes kailangan din namin ng konting pampagising din para malaman namin yung pagkukulang at pagkakamali namin and kailangan pa namin iimprove,” the 5-foot-9 spiker said.
Valdez praised Cignal’s defense on the net and fighting spirit. Although Creamline had a 56-38 advantage in attacks, the HD Spikers imposed its dominance at the net with 13 blocks against the Cool Smashers’ seven.
“Mahirap din makapuntos talaga, their blocking as a team very strong din. Kitang kita naman natin yung height nila, very intimidating sa loob ng court,” said the Creamline skipper, who finished with nine points in the loss.
Creamline is two wins away from a semifinals berth and Valdez assured Creamline will come out more motivated, beginning with the keenly awaited match against the Flying Titans on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“In every win and every journey, it’s part of it. You win some, you lose some. You just accept it and the important thing is how you come back, di ba?” she said.
Shaq on Cignal win vs Creamline
Cignal’s triumphant result over powerhouse Creamline came just at the right time to boost the HD Spikers’ confidence, said head coach Shaq delos Santos.
When asked how important the win is, Delos Santos only has one thing to say — “Sobrang laki.”
The HD Spikers seized the solo lead in the 2022 Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference after a 25-21, 26-24, 14-25, 25-22 victory over the Cool Smashers on Thursday night, ending the Open Conference champion’s 10-game winning streak it had held since the last conference.
Although a young team in the league and only joining in 2021, the HD Spikers are slowly claiming their stamp as title contenders with their veteran and equally skilled core led by Ces Molina and Rachel Daquis who delivered on both ends – Molina had 15 points and 12 digs while the team captain Daquis 10 points and 15 receptions.
“Talagang nagi-start pa rin talaga ‘yung team namin. Wino-workout namin lahat. And then ito, isa ‘to sa napakalaking bagay na siguro kahit papaano ‘yung maturity ng team, nadadagdagan,” Delos Santos said.
True enough; the HD Spikers’ maturity has been on full display from the get-go. Down two sets against Choco Mucho, Cignal flipped the switch to pull off a come-from-behind victory just a week ago.
And this time, the team’s composure was evident once again against the Cool Smashers. With a seven-point deficit, Cignal slowly built its own momentum to overtake the Cool Smashers and gain a 2-0 lead in the extended second set, 26-24, and eventually winning the match in four.
Although proud of his words, Delos Santos remained grounded and vowed his team still has a long way to go.
“Alam namin na marami pang kulang. Kasi siyempre, andoon pa rin kami sa process talaga na kailangan namin na, patuloy naming pagta-trabahuhan ‘yung kailangan namin lahat gawin,” he said.
Cignal looks to keep its record immaculate as it faces winless Petro Gazz on Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., at the FilOil Flying V Centre.