MANILA – She may not have the chance to play inside the court, but Alyssa Valdez still finds ways to contribute for the Creamline Cool Smashers.
With a finals berth on the line, Valdez did not just sit on the bench and watch her teammates suffer a possible collapse in Game 1 of their semifinals series against the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers on Saturday.
After building a 2-0 set lead in the match, Creamline slowly crumbled in the third frame, allowing the Cargo Movers to extend the match.
During the break before the fourth frame, Valdez was caught talking to Creamline’s starting lineup.
Her pep talk worked for the team as the Cool Smasher zoomed into an early 8-1 lead before making it a 15-7 separation.
Michele Gumabao and Tots Carlos took over in the final stretch as they finally clinched their first win over F2 via four sets.
Asked about what Valdez told them, Carlos said their team captain just reminded them what adjustments they needed in the game while adding some motivational words.
“More on, si Ate Ly kasi, objective 'yan mag-salita, plus with motivations. So 'yun lang, reminders lang naman ang sinasabi niya, kung ano lang 'yung nakikita niya na pwede pa naming i-improve, pwede pa namin ayusin,” said Carlos, who finished with 22 points in the match.
According to Carlos, Valdez particularly stressed out about controlling their passes during rallies so Jia de Guzman could set up plays more effectively.
“Like 'yung mga bola na pag balikan, mas okay kung mako-control namin, mabibigay namin kay Ate Jia. So ayun lang, reminders lang na may konting motivation, tsaka nire-remind niya lang kami na maging patient [and] composed,” she continued.
Valdez might miss out the entire All-Filipino Conference as she is still recovering from her right knee injury.
Last month, the Creamline skipper underwent a procedure to help in her recovery.
A win by Cool Smashers against F2 on Tuesday, March 18 at the Mall of Asia Arena will propel them to another finals appearance in PVL.