Creamline might not compete in the AVC Cup for Women as a complete unit, after all.
Philippine National Volleyball Federation national team commission chairman Tonyboy Liao confirmed that Alyssa Valdez had contracted dengue, making her unavailable to see action in the prestigious Asian tourney that the country will host from 21 to 28 August at the Philsports Arena.
Valdez’s absence will serve as a major blow as she is considered as the most veteran among the Cool Smashers in the international arena after seeing action in the SEA Games, Asian Games and Asian club tournaments.
She also serves as the Cool Smashers’ heart and soul, leading them to the Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference crown last week.
But a Daily Tribune source stressed that Valdez is not the lone Creamline player who will sit out.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source revealed that four other team members, including head coach Sherwin Meneses and Jia de Guzman, are also doubtful due to health and safety protocols.
The source added that the four will undergo further tests to determine whether they will make it to their opening-day game against Vietnam on Sunday.
The source said the federation is doing its best to make last-minute substitution, but it all depends on the decision of the organizing Asian Volleyball Confederation.
But Liao refused to confirm the source’s claim.
“Only Alyssa,” he said when asked who among the Cool Smashers will be sidelined due to health issues.
The Cool Smashers is facing a tough battle in the prestigious Asian event.
After facing Southeast Asian rival Vietnam, they will tackle former Olympic champion China, Iran and South Korea in the preliminaries in a bid to advance to the next round against the likes of Thailand, Australia and Japan.