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Valdez faces Lady Eagles in PVL finals

By Kritstel Satumbaga

Games Today
(The Arena, San Juan City)
4 p.m. – BanKo-Perlas vs PetroGazz
6 p.m. – Creamline vs Ateneo-Motolite

It feels like “Ateneo vs Ateneo” as far as coach Oliver Almadro is concerned when his Ateneo-Motolite squad faces Creamline in Game 1 of their best-of-three finals in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference today at The Arena in San Juan City.

Not only the Lady Eagles are facing a Creamline squad mentored by their former Thai coach Tai Bundit, but they are also up against with some of their former teammates and idols like Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado.

“They are the legends. They are the idols of my players,” said Almadro, referring to Valdez and Morado.

The anticipated thrilling match is at 6 p.m. with Ateneo-Motolite riding the momentum of its 21-25, 23-25, 25-17, 27-25, 21-19 rubber match over BanKo-Perlas in their best-of-three semifinals series over the weekend.

While the Lady Eagles only have two days of rest, Creamline’s star player Valdez believes the strong capability of their rivals to recuperate and give their best shot.

“Their routine as student-athletes is their edge because they recover fast. We just have to push ourselves to our limit,” said Valdez.

The two teams split their elimination matchups with Creamline sweeping their first meeting, 25-23, 25-17, 25-14, while Ateneo retaliated with a 25-18, 25-20, 15-25, 23-25, 15-12 in the second round.

Ateneo-Motolite spiker Maddie Madayag said they needed to set aside the fact that they knew each other off the court, with their focus on improving particularly their defense in order to stop Valdez and Jema Galanza.

Madayag, Kat Tolentino and De Leon are expected to form Ateneo’s version of “triple tower”.