Keeping its lineup intact while the rest of the field made significant roster movements during the offseason paid dividends for defending champion Creamline.
Fielding a tried and tested crew, the Cool Smashers remained a formidable team despite the absence of top hitter Alyssa Valdez due to a knee injury.
The veterans stepped up to fill the void left by the skipper to open their title defense in the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference Saturday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on a winning note.
“Just like what we’ve said before anyone from Creamline knows what they’re supposed to do,” head coach Sherwin Meneses said following the Cool Smashers’ 25-18, 25-20, 25-22 win over last year’s Open Conference runner-up Petro Gazz.
Creamline barely felt the absence of Valdez, who is expected to return by late February after hurting her right knee during the battle for third in the Reinforced Conference last December, as four players logged in with double figures, proving how deep the arsenal of the squad is.
“Whomever we field inside knows her role; all of them are leaders. They know how the system works so it’s not that hard to adjust,” Meneses said.
Although having Ly inside would be a game-changer, MG (Michele Gumabao) and Jia (Morado-de Guzman) are working together as leaders inside.
The Cool Smashers take on Cignal on Thursday.