MANILA, Philippines – Alyssa Valdez, bigtime PH Volleyball celebrity, and the team captain for the Creamline Cool Smashers, may not be able to compete in the forthcoming playoffs, therefore head coach Sherwin Meneses is preparing his team for that scenario. Due to a right knee injury she acquired in the bronze medal match against Chery Tiggo in the previous season, Valdez is yet to make her All-Filipino Conference debut. Despite her absence, the Cool Smashers defeated Akari in a four-set match to secure the top spot in the eliminations with a 7 to 1 win-loss record.
Meneses acknowledged in an interview following the game that they had already planned for the possibility of playing without Valdez at the beginning of the season. Valdez’s health, which continues to be the team’s first focus, was highlighted by him as being of the utmost importance. The medical operation that the three-time PVL Most Valuable Player had two weeks ago was intended to speed up her recuperation.
The potential of playing without Ly [Valdez] was something we actually planned for at the beginning of the season, Meneses bared.
Her health is still our top priority, so as of right now, she isn’t really able to play.
The remaining Cool Smashers performed admirably to maintain their top seed status without Valdez. In their triumph over Akari, Michele Gumabao, Jema Galanza, and Tots Carlos all scored ten or more points. Galanza contributed 17 points from 14 attacks, two blocks, and an ace, while Gumabao had the most points for the team with 19 from 17 attempts. Carlos put up a strong all-around performance, scoring 16 points and making 16 top-notch receptions in addition to 12 top-notch digs.
The remaining Cool Smashers performed admirably to maintain their top seed status without Valdez. They defeated Akari thanks to double-digit scoring from Michele Gumabao, Jema Galanza, and Tots Carlos. Gumabao scored the most points for the team (19 points on 17 attempts), followed by Galanza (17 points on 14 attempts, two blocks, and an ace). With 16 points, 16 superb catches, and 12 excellent digs, Carlos had a strong overall performance.
Meneses admitted that much work has to be done before the semi-finals, especially in terms of consistency. He emphasized the value of paying close attention to each detail and said the team would keep working on its preparations for the upcoming competition round. We’ll keep preparing,” the esteemed head coach declared after Meneses advanced to the semifinals with a healthy lineup despite their preparation.