College rivals Valdez, Gumabao find success together in Creamline
MANILA, Philippines – Former college archrivals Alyssa Valdez and Michele Gumabao showed Sunday, May 6, they could be potent playing together when they helped power Creamline past newcomer Petro Gazz in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 opener at the Arena in San Juan.
Though one game doesn’t define a team’s worth, Valdez said she liked what she saw as far as communication with the team’s new recruits, particularly former La Salle players, on and off the court is concerned.
“I’m happy that even if we were rivals in the UAAP and in the pro league, we could still develop chemistry as teammates,” said Valdez.
"The Phenom" fired 14 points, including 6 aces, while Gumabao, the reigning Binibining Pilipinas-Globe, had two blocks and two aces in her 9-point output as the duo backed Thai reinforcement Kuttika Kaewpin’s game-high 17-point showing in the Cool Smashers' 25-18, 25-16, 25-13 romp over the Angels in the Reinforced Conference.
“I’m glad we have jelled even if we came from different schools,” said Gumabao.
Valdez and Gumabao had a seething rivalry during their UAAP days. Gumabao won 3 straight UAAP titles for La Salle from Seasons 73 to 75, the last two at the expense of Valdez and the Ateneo Lady Eagles.
In the pros, the former La Salle star, then the opposite hitter at Pocari Sweat, and former La Salle teammate Melissa Gohing, denied Valdez and her Customs team a crack at the 2016 Reinforced Conference crown in the now-defunct V-League.
Now playing alongside Valdez, Gumabao said she’s pleased that she’s spared the job of neutralizing one of the sport’s most powerful hitters.
“I’m happy that I would not be tasked to block her this time,” said Gumabao in jest.
Gumabao also noted how she and libero Gohing have shared the same competitive spirit with Valdez and ex-Ateneo top setter Julia Morado. Valdez added that their rivalry have brought out the best of each other.
Valdez and Gumabao, however, said it would take a lot of effort and hard work to deliver the elusive crown to Creamline.
“We don’t train like champions. We don’t train like winners. We train like we’re in last place,” said Gumabao. – Rappler.com