It was a month of success for the Creamline Cool Smashers.
The PVL club team reigned supreme over the top local squads and guest team KingWhale Taipei to capture the Invitational Conference title just last August 14.
Then right after their crowning moment, the Cool Smashers accepted the call of duty that is to represent the Philippines in the AVC Cup for Women here in Pasig City.
Disaster struck though as Creamline was set back by health problems.
Heart and soul Alyssa Valdez and middle blocker Risa Sato were forced to skip the entire continental meet due to dengue fever and health reasons, respectively.
Setter Jia De Guzman and head coach Sherwin Meneses also missed Creamline-Philippines' first game against Vietnam due to health reasons.
But after all that, the Nationals still ended sixth in the AVC Cup, the country's best finish yet.
"Very proud talaga ko sa teammates ko kasi hindi talaga biro yung pinagdaanan namin na tuluy-tuloy yung mga laro namin sa PVL, binuhos talaga lahat namin doon, and then late notice nga namin nalaman na we were going to step up for the Philippines in the AVC," said De Guzman, who was the captain of the Philippines in the tourney.
"But, everyone was willing to do so. We had to sacrifice a lot of vacations, a lot of family time, so very happy kami sa mga panalong nakuha namin, sa mga natutunan namin. Yun nga lang, what coach said, baka lang na-improve pa lalo. Maraming what-ifs ang pwede sanang mangyari if you know ... maraming nangyari."
With the recent success of the Cool Smashers, and the Philippines as well, the six-time PVL Best Setter suggested something for the betterment of Philippine volleyball as a whole.
They will next compete in the 2022 ASEAN Grand Prix on September 9 to 11 in Thailand.
"At the end of the day sixth place -- that's something to be proud of pa rin. That's still a big improvement. And hopefully, mas angat talaga dito is long-term preparation, long-term system, yun talaga ang magpapa-angat sa Philippine volleyball."