Valdez, Creamline seek grand slam

Crowd-favorite Creamline is coming into the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference with one goal in mind: Completing a historic grand slam.

The Cool Smashers went on a tear in the second season of the country’s first and only professional women’s volleyball league, winning the Open and Invitational conferences.

Now the only hardware missing in Creamline’s collection is the shiny trophy of the import-laden conference that will unwrap this Saturday at the Sta. Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna.

“Honestly, at the back of our minds especially during training, we’re thinking of the grand slam. Of course, that is the goal,” Cool Smashers skipper Alyssa Valdes said on Wednesday during the press conference of the season-ending tournament held at the Discovery Suites in Pasig City.

Creamline is the consensus team to beat according to rival coaches considering the deep arsenal of the Sherwin Meneses-mentored squad which also tapped seasoned internationalist in Turkish Yeliz Basa.

On top of that, the Cool Smashers are coming off a couple of international stints representing the country in the AVC Cup for Women, where the Philippines had its best finish at the sixth spot, and the ASEAN Grand Prix in Thailand.

Creamline is parading a star-studded lineup led by Valdez, Open and Invitational Conference Most Valuable Player Tots Carlos, prized setter Jia Morado, defense specialist Kyla Atienza, who was named Best Libero in the ASEAN Grand Prix, Invitational Cup Finals MVP Ced Domingo and Jema Galanza.

But the Cool Smashers are sure to face stiff resistance from eight other teams raring to capture the title and deny them of a season sweep.

“But again, you can’t just get that in a snap,” Valdez said, who will return to action after missing Creamline’s international tourneys due to dengue.

“We have to work harder, work smarter. The grand slam will always be there but that’s the motivation,” the three-time league MVP added.

Creamline will open its campaign on 13 October against PLDT at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

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