THERE will be no rest for the weary Creamline Cool Smashers as they shoot for the Premier Volleyball League’s (PVL) first grand slam as well as making the country proud as the host’s representative to the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Cup set late this month at the PhilSports Complex in Pasig.
Just a day after toppling King Whale of Taipei, 25-21, 25-19, 25-8, to snare the PVL Invitational crown before 13,589 fans at the MOA Arena on Sunday, the Jonathan Ng-owned franchise has now set its sights at the AVC Cup slated Aug. 21 to 29 and the season-closing PVL Reinforced Conference unfurling Oct. 8.
“We’re ready to represent the country in the AVC Cup,” said Creamline coach Sherwin Meneses.
Mr. Meneses said their participation in AVC Cup would be both beneficial to the team and an honor to the organization since representing the country in international meets has always been the dream of every player and coach.
“It will help us grow as a team while it will serve as an opportunity for some of our players who haven’t played for flag and country to suit up for the national team,” he said.
One of the players Mr. Meneses was referring to was two-time conference MVP Tots Carlos, who will get a golden chance to wear the national colors for the first time in her life.
“We’ll give them a good fight,” said Ms. Carlos.
Of course, skipper Alyssa Valdez, Michele Gumabao and Jia de Guzman have all played for the country in international meets in the past.
Same with reigning Finals MVP Ced Domingo, who played for the national youth team years back.
After the AVC Cup, Mr. Meneses said the next step is getting the right import who fits well in their system.
“It is very important to get a good import because almost 50% of the production will come from them. We already have one and we’re trying to bring her in early to practice with the team,” said Mr. Meneses, who wouldn’t disclose which position their import would play and how she would fit in with a team teeming with talents.
If everything works out well, Creamline could end the year with the league’s historic grand slam at its grasp.
And it was because of their commitment to set aside vacation in pursuit of excellence. — Joey Villar