MANILA, Philippines – Alyssa Valdez has long been known as the face of the Creamline Cool Smashers, and while she is still near the peak of her power today, the next batch of stars has already caught up.
Make no mistake, Ate Ly is the first one in line to welcome her successors with open arms, most notably newly crowned Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference MVP Tots Carlos.
Even though she won her first career PVL Finals MVP award, the veteran superstar couldn’t contain her excitement to share the spotlight with her 23-year-old teammate, who also copped the Best Opposite Spiker award in her first conference as a full-time starter.
“Grabe! This is just the beginning for Tots, I bet,” she said after Creamline swept Petro Gazz in Game 2 to complete its title redemption tour. “For Jema Galanza, for Ced (Domingo), for Jia (de Guzman) also, for Pangs (Panaga). Everyone really contributed. Kyla Atienza also. They really gave their all here.”
“I can see the growth, not only in terms of their plays, but also as individuals, and they’re bringing that to the court,” she continued. “As an ate (big sister), I’m kind of getting up there in age, but it’s just so nice to see everyone stepping up, performing, and taking that responsibility that they can lead every game.”
Carlos herself was at a loss for words after winning two individual awards as cherries on top of a perfect season for her squad.
The former UP star bested the league’s cream of the crop after steering Creamline with booming killshots resulting in multiple 20-plus point games.
“Speechless. Like what I always say, all the sweat, tears, and bubbles we’ve gone through, all that happened last year. I learned so much from that experience,” she said.
“It’s another start of growth for me as I just learned so much. I think this is just the start. I’m really looking forward to the next tournaments we have.”
Carlos has taken center stage as the team’s go-to girl. Valdez still rose to the occasion when her team needed her the most. Galanza and De Guzman still flexed their MVP forms whether in a lead or support role.
Really, there was simply no stopping Creamline this conference despite minimum personnel changes, and as always, the team continues to be the league’s barometer for sheer excellence. – Rappler.com