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MANILA, Philippines – In any championship-caliber team in all sports, sacrifices are a part of daily routine, and each player from top to bottom is expected to leave their pride in the backseat for a better shot at team-wide glory.
Not even two-time reigning PVL MVP Tots Carlos of the dynastic Creamline Cool Smashers is exempted from this standard, as she has been reduced to a role player to make room for Reinforced Conference import Yeliz Basa.
Ever the professional, the former UP standout took her benching in stride, and when the opportunity came knocking following an injury to the Turkish veteran, Carlos answered the call for her skills and answered it loud and clear.
Against sister team Choco Mucho – who coincidentally also did not have import Odina Aliyeva due to health protocols – Carlos fully unleashed her pent-up energy with a huge triple-double of 25 points with 6 blocks, 18 excellent receptions, and 16 excellent digs on the way to a nail-biting four-set win.
“[My role] all depends on the coaches’ plans. Call my name and I’ll be there,” she said after the jampacked game at the Mall of Asia Arena that racked up a PVL pandemic record attendance of 19,117.
“Of course, I’m still raring to play, so every point, I try to do my best every game and help the team. I’m very grateful that I was given this chance by coach [Sherwin Meneses].”
Prior to this explosion against the Flying Titans, Carlos never started a single Reinforced Conference game, never scored more than 7 points, regularly appeared in just one or two sets, and was even removed from the active roster entirely in the Cool Smashers’ first game.
Still, when the team needed her, she never put her minutes to waste, as proven by her all-around eruption that pushed Choco Mucho to the brink of elimination.
For now, Creamline will monitor Basa’s situation carefully as it enjoys the ultimate luxury of having a two-time reigning MVP just waiting in the wings and willing to give up her spot at any time.
“Let’s see for now because we have a one-week preparation ahead,” Meneses said in Filipino. “Of course, we all want Tots to play, but we have to look at the rotation carefully to see what’s best for the team. As of now, we have nothing set.”
“If only we can play seven on the court,” gushed team captain Alyssa Valdez. – Rappler.com