‘All heart’: Jema Galanza plays through pain to lead Creamline-PH rally in AVC Cup
MANILA, Philippines — A weary Jema Galanza played her heart out to spark the Philippine women’s volleyball team’s dramatic come-from-behind victory over Australia, pushing the country to the cusp of a decent fifth-place finish in the AVC Cup on Sunday.
Galanza, who was limping after being limited to just six points in a four-set loss to Thailand in the quarterfinals late Saturday evening, admitted she wasn’t even 100 percent but still managed to will the Philippines in five sets, 21-25, 25-19, 19-25, 25-18, 15-12.
“Hindi pa rin 100 percent pero siguro puso na lang din talaga,” said the 2019 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference MVP,” who even took a painkiller to reduce some pain and swelling.
(I’m not yet 100 percent but I guess it was just all heart.)
Creamline went down 3-15 in the third set but the five-time PVL champion never wavered with the do-it-all spiker spearheading the comeback by scoring 11 of her 18 points in the last two sets.
“We’ve been together for a long time. We are really familiar with each other. We just relaxed and corrected our mistakes, and then fought, gave everything, and played our hearts out in the game,” Galanza said in Filipino.
Watch: Tears of joy for Jema Galanza and Jia De Guzman. pic.twitter.com/qUuulkpxca
— Lance Agcaoili (@LanceAgcaoilINQ) August 28, 2022
After Tots Carlos nailed the game-winning attack, Galanza shed tears with setter Jia De Guzman during their postgame interview.
“I’m just happy. Maybe I also felt exhausted since we played consecutive games. I’m just thinking of the people, who are doubting our team, but we still reach this far. I’m really happy how the team fought in this tournament,” she said.
Galanza was part of the Philippine team’s debut in the AVC Cup last 2018, finishing ninth place. With a chance to finish fifth, she is proud that Creamline represented the country well, despite being a last-minute replacement for the young national squad.
“I’m happy and proud of everyone here at PhilSports Arena for trusting us. We won’t able to do it without the support of everyone,” she said.
Galanza vows to give her all again as the Philippines battles Chinese Taipei for fifth place on Monday at 1 p.m. to wrap up its AVC Cup campaign.
“We’re already here. We won’t let go of our chance. This could be our best finish for the Philippines in the AVC (Cup). So we will push hard and fight for it tomorrow,” she said.