Players brace for tough PVL battle with most teams bolstering rosters

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Creamline players Jia Morado and Alyssa Valdez. PVL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Expect intense competition from the get-go as crossover matches banner the opening of the Premier Volleyball League’s first professional season Saturday.

Creamline, which won three titles in the PVL, will take on Sta. Lucia, which previously played in the Philippine Superliga, in the headliner pitting collegiate rivals Alyssa Valdez and Mika Reyes in their first matchup since the UAAP.

“We’re very excited since this is the longest that we’ve been away from the competition, and from volleyball in general,” said Creamline setter Jia Morado.

“I think the last few months of preparations have been very brutal not just on us but for everyone who are really going their best to prepare the best that they can for this tournament.”

Valdez said that they have to be wary of the competition especially from the PSL clubs as it will be the first time they would play against each other.

“We have to watch out for every team,” said Valdez. “Some teams also toughened up their respective rosters, so we really have to prepare for every team.”

Sta. Lucia star Mika Reyes

Sta. Lucia star Mika Reyes. PVL PHOTO

Perennial PVL title contender BanKo Perlas will then take on one-time PSL champion Cignal in the second match of the season opener at 3 pm

Two-time PSL champion Cherry Tiggo will open the proceedings against fellow league transferee PLDT Home Fibr at 1 pm.

Reyes, meanwhile, singled out Creamline as one of the top teams early crediting the club’s strength to its depth.

The Cool Smashers boast one of the league’s most talented lineups that include Valdez, Morado, Michele Gumabao, Tots Carlos, and Jeanette Panaga.

“I think all the teams have deep benches, particularly Creamline, whose roster remains intact,” said Reyes. “But just like any other team, our mindset is to be in top condition and be able to dish out our best in every game.”

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