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Eagles fly again: Lazaro, De Leon relish Ateneo reconnection with Valdez in Creamline debut

JR Isaga

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Eagles fly again: Lazaro, De Leon relish Ateneo reconnection with Valdez in Creamline debut

TOGETHER AGAIN. The Creamline Cool Smashers huddle after a point in the 2024 PVL All-Filipino Conference

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New Creamline recruits Bea de Leon and Denden Lazaro-Revilla relish their reunion with their Ateneo teammates as they attempt to recreate the magic of their iconic UAAP title run nine years ago

MANILA, Philippines – In perhaps one of the most unusual sights so far in the new 2024 PVL All-Filipino Conference, former Choco Mucho leaders Bea de Leon and Denden Lazaro-Revilla finally donned their Cool Smashers kits on the court after five years of heated sister team clashes with the Flying Titans.

Although it was only their first game together after sitting out the conference opener, both De Leon and Revilla immediately meshed well with their new teammates, excelling in their defensive assignments despite limited playing time against Akari on Thursday, February 29.

Of course, it certainly helps that Creamline is not completely unfamiliar territory, as for the first time in nearly a decade, De Leon and Revilla linked up with their former Ateneo champion teammate Alyssa Valdez, while fellow ex-Lady Eagle Ella de Jesus watched on as a reserve.

Only playing in important stretches of the match against Akari, Valdez finished with 8 points, while De Leon added 5. Revilla, meanwhile, went in and out of the rotation as liberos often do, and finished with 11 excellent receptions on just 23 attempts.

Three-time PVL MVP Tots Carlos, meanwhile, exploded for a new career-high 31 points on 55% attack efficiency to set the tone from start to finish.

Once a heated rival of the PVL’s undisputed top dynasty, Revilla exuded nothing but gratitude for her new team in an emotional postgame press conference.

“I never thought I would once again play with them, so I’m really grateful to be a part of this team,” said the UAAP Season 77 champion. “They welcomed me and I was given an opportunity. It’s just so easy to integrate myself because they know me so well, and that’s why it translated to my game on the floor.”

De Leon – Choco Mucho’s captain as recently as its finals war last conference against none other than Creamline – likewise had nothing but kind words as she continues to integrate herself in a new system.

“Same with Ate Den, I didn’t think I’d still be playing with them. I feel reassured knowing that no matter what happens, someone will have my back,” said the 5-foot-11 net anchor, who was a rookie in the masterful Season 77 run that yielded a rare 16-0 sweep on the way to the title.

“On the court, there’s Ate Ly, Ate Els, who always have your back. It’s really a light feeling on the court knowing they’re around, all my former seniors.”

With only two games down so far in a new PVL title defense, De Leon and Revilla will certainly be vital pieces as the weeks move along and multiple other contenders try to break the Cool Smashers’ seemingly impenetrable ranks.

The road will be tough as always, but champions like Creamline’s new stars are practically hardwired to adjust along the way. –

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