After taking a leave of absence to pursue politics, Michele Gumabao is set to make her return to Creamline in the upcoming 2022 Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference.
And the three-time V-League Best Opposite Spiker admitted that she feels like a rookie once more.
“As a rookie, I’m just happy to be back.
“I miss playing volleyball and I’m happy to be back with my teammates,” said 29-year-old Gumabao during the Kumu x PVL press conference on Thursday at the F1 Hotel in Taguig.
The 29-year-old opposite hitter missed the Open Conference. She last played for Creamline during the 2021 Open Conference in Bacarra where the Cool Smashers fell to Chery Tiggo in the finals.
Gumabao skipped the Open Conference earlier this year as she went on a campaign trail.
She joined Mocha Uson in the Mothers for Change party list as its second nominee. The party list, however, failed to land a seat in the House of Representatives.
The party list only garnered 64,785 votes.
Creamline, leaning on the deadly troika of Alyssa Valdez, Jema Galanza, and conference MVP Tots Carlos, swept the entire tournament to win the Open Conference title.
Carlos stepped up in Gumabao’s absence as she took the ball and ran with it.
Gumabao is motivated to make an immediate impact once the Cool Smashers open their title bid in the Invitationals this Tuesday.
“I will really work hard, I really hope na this season for our team na walang ma-injure, not just for us but for all the teams and makapaglaro lahat,” said the former La Salle standout.
“Yung bago sa akin? Abangan niyo na lang sa game namin on Tuesday so sana manood lahat and mag-support lahat this PVL season.”
Aside from Gumabao, Creamline also added University of the Philippines middle blocker Lorie Bernardo, who is forgoing her final year in the UAAP.
The Cool Smashers play their first match of the conference on July 12 against Cignal.
However, tickets to the 2022 PVL Invitational Conference were available on July 4, as PVL previously announced.
Fans can buy the tickets via Ticket Max with ringside seats priced at P530, lower box at P320, and upper box at P110. However, only two tickets are allowed per transaction.
All viewers must bring their ID and proof of vaccination to be allowed entry at all match venues, while kids under five years are not allowed in pursuance to strict health and safety protocols implemented.
Games in the elimination round will be held at the Filoil Flying V Centre at San Juan, except for the July 23 match between Chery Tiggo and Cignal and sister companies Creamline and Choco Mucho which will be held at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Third placer HD Spikers and the Army-Black Mamba will raise the curtain at 2:30 p.m., followed by the Flying Titans and the Crossovers in the Invitational opener on July 9.
Reigning Open Conference champion Creamline is set to open its campaign against the Lady Troopers, while bridesmaid Petro Gazz takes on HD Spikers both on Tuesday.
The mid-season tournament will take a break after the single round robin elimination round to give way for the 2022 AVC Cup for Women in August.