MANILA, Philippines — Despite having big shoes to fill in the absence of eight-time best setter Jia De Guzman, Creamline’s new starting playmaker Kyle Negrito shone bright after leading her depleted team past Choco Mucho in the 2023 Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Filipino Conference on Sunday night in front of 14,014 fans at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Negrito proved that she can orchestrate brilliant plays for the Cool Smashers, who missed Ced Domingo and libero Kyla Atienza and saw limited playing time from three-time Most Valuable Players Alyssa Valdez and Tots Carlos.
The former Far Eastern University stalwart said De Guzman prepared her to embrace a bigger role for Creamline this year before the latter flew to Japan and joined the Denso Airybees in the 2023-24 V.League.
“Si ate Jia (De Guzman) naman po bago naman siya umalis, pinrepare naman din niya yung team nang maayos. ‘Di naman din niya kami pinabayaan na basta umalis na lang siya so ako rin po, pinrepare din ako ni ate Jia,” said Negrito after pulling off an impressive game amid the pressure.
(Jia made sure the team and I are ready and good to go before she left.)
Negrito, who helped Creamline open its second All-Filipino title defense this year with a 25-18, 25-16, 24-26, 25-21 victory, admitted she felt the pressure and welcomed it.
The former Philippine women’s volleyball team member credited her teammates and coach Sherwin Meneses for their patience and guidance.
“My team is very patient. Tulad ng sinabi nila coach kanina na talagang itong magiging season na ‘to is magtutulungan talaga kami, magtatrabaho kami every game and syempre simula sa training,” she said.
(Like what coach said earlier, this season we need to really help each other every game and during training.)
Valdez, who is playing without De Guzman for the first time since 2017, knew that Negrito would deliver even before the conference started.
And the Creamline captain was thrilled to see their new main setter shrug off the pressure and show what she’s made of.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.
“I’m going to commend Kyle for today’s game with so much pressure. She did well,” Valdez said.