Premier Volleyball League

Alyssa Valdez proud of Creamline’s rise from ‘hardest conference’ with 8th PVL title

JR Isaga

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Alyssa Valdez proud of Creamline’s rise from ‘hardest conference’ with 8th PVL title

SIGH OF RELIEF. Creamline's Alyssa Valdez hugs teammate Jia de Guzman after the 2024 PVL All-Filipino finals

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Enduring historic losses, top player departures, and controversial games, Creamline still delivers when it mattered most as it rises once more to the top of the PVL mountain

MANILA, Philippines – For a record-extending eighth time in Premier Volleyball League history, the Creamline Cool Smashers are once again champions after sweeping the 2024 All-Filipino finals against sister team Choco Mucho Flying Titans last Sunday, May 12.

In front of 23,163 fans at the packed Araneta Coliseum, mighty Creamline rallied from a 1-2 set deficit in Game 2 and escaped with a 20-25, 25-20, 22-25, 25-22, 15-11 win to earn its fourth straight All-Filipino championship.

That comeback rally was a picture-perfect representation of what the Cool Smashers’ conference had been like in the last two months: full of close shaves, flirtations with disaster, and overall uncertainty on what lies ahead, unlike their past title wins where their rise was all but a foregone conclusion.

Captain Alyssa Valdez – herself an embodiment of struggles and unpredictability this conference due to nagging injuries – could only breath a sigh of relief after all was said and done, considering that Creamline once found itself on the brink of elimination early in the semifinals.

“Based on our standings, probably this was the hardest, most challenging, and unpredictable [conference] for the Creamline Cool Smashers,” she said after playing just spot minutes in Game 2 due to another knee injury suffered in the first finals match.

“But I guess this is also the season that we proved to our team, to ourselves, to the coaches, and the whole management that our family will stay and stick together despite everything.”

Sure enough, it wasn’t all sunshine and roses for a team that marketed itself with a “good vibes” mantra.

On top of Valdez’s up-and-down condition and star setter Jia de Guzman’s ongoing Japan V. League stint, Creamline also suffered its first sweep loss in five years, briefly lost three-time MVP Tots Carlos in the semifinals due to a Korean V. League tryout, and a controversial semis bout with Petro Gazz upon Carlos’ return.

Valdez is just glad that when it mattered most, Creamline truly showed why it is the PVL’s winningest team by a wide margin.

“We really fought and I think one thing we proved amid our challenges is that we’re still the ones leaning on one another in the end and we are the sources of one another’s strength,” she continued.

“It was a really difficult conference for all of us, probably because we’re really trying to figure out also where we stand at this point in our lives and careers, and what else do we need to improve on. This win means hope that no matter where we rank, there’s always a chance as long as we don’t give up.”

Creamline, literally battered and bruised from a year of almost non-stop volleyball, now heads to a much-needed break before the PVL Reinforced Conference kicks off sometime in July. –

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