AVC Cup: Jema Galanza says Alyssa Valdez, fans inspire Creamline-PH
MANILA, Philippines — Missing Alyssa Valdez and the presence of her dedicated fans have been fueling Jema Galanza in leading the Philippines’ offense in the AVC Cup for Women.
Without Valdez, who is their three-time Premier Volleyball League MVP and Philippine women’s volleyball team mainstay, Galanza has embraced a bigger role and emerged as the Creamline Cool Smashers’ leading scorer in the international tournament, averaging 14.25 points in four games of the pool stage to reach the quarterfinals.
Galanza, who made her national team debut in the 2018 AVC Cup in Thailand where they finished ninth, is offering their first quarterfinals appearance to their team captain, Valdez, who is still recovering from dengue.
“Siguro isa na rin sa inspirasyon namin si Ate Ly na hindi namin kasama. Yun talaga yung pinaghuhugutan namin na alam mo yun kapag nanonood siya mas lumalakas yung katawan niya ngayon,” said the 2019 PVL Open Conference MVP after pouring 12 points in their 25-18, 25-13, 25-17 victory over South Korea on Thursday at PhilSports Arena.
“Masaya lang din na maglaro kasama yung Creamline family,” she added.
(One of our inspirations is ate Alyssa, who is not with us today. We want to make her feel better, knowing that she is watching our games. I’m just happy to play with my Creamline family.)
Besides Valdez, the Adamson standout is also grateful for their fans, who took some time to make noise and support them at the historic stadium in Pasig City.
“We didn’t expect to get this kind of support because we’re playing weekdays, these people have jobs. But they still took time to support us. They boost our energy and give us motivation every game,” she said in Filipino.
The Philippines takes on 12-straight Southeast Asian Games gold medalist Thailand in a knockout quarterfinal game on Saturday at 8 p.m.
Knowing the caliber of their opponents, who played in the Volleyball Nations League last June, Galanza wants to focus on what Creamline can do to put up a good fight.
“Thailand has been excelling in international tournaments for the past years. What we need to do is focus on ourselves, correct our mistakes and play our hearts out,” Galanza said.
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