Alas Pilipinas women's making most out of short training period
AVC

Alas Pilipinas women’s making most out of short training period

Philippine national team Alas Pilipinas AVC Challenge Cup

The Philippine national team, named Alas Pilipinas,  poses with federation and team officials, along with Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino (table, second from right). —MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

The women’s Alas Pilipinas is composed of various professional and young stars of volleyball, but most of them have pointed out one person they are most excited to play alongside with.

It’s Jia de Guzman, the former Creamline playmaker who just came back from her stint with Denso Airybees in the Japan V.League.

“It’s very flattering, it’s an honor while at the same time I am very excited to play with them as well,” De Guzman told reporters after the women’s Alas Pilipinas team presentation at Makati Shangri-La on Monday afternoon.

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The roster is made up of Choco Mucho’s Sisi Rondina and Cherry Nunag with Chery Tiggo’s Eya Laure and Jennifer Nierva, Cignal’s Dawn Macandili-Catindig and Vanie Gandler, Akari’s Fifi Sharma and Faith Nisperos and Dell Palomata from PLDT.

La Salle’s big three of Angel Canino, Thea Gagate and setter Julia Coronel banner the young bloods with National University rookie opposite hitter Arah Panique, fresh from a UAAP Season 86 championship run, completing the lineup that will represent the country in the upcoming Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Challenge Cup starting on Wednesday at Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

Australia first

“I didn’t think I would have the chance to play with such great talents from the UAAP and even to be able to play again with the other seniors in the team,” De Guzman added.

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“Honestly, when I saw the lineup, I was so happy because I think we are strong but it’s just that we need time to prepare better,” she said of the team coached by Brazilian mentor Jorge Souza de Brito that was only announced and formalized last Wednesday.

Alas Pilipinas opens its Pool A campaign against Australia on Thursday, and will face India on Friday and Iran on Saturday.

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De Guzman was named the skipper of the team that she thinks is on track to qualify the country for the 2024 FIVB Women’s Challenger Cup, which is also a pathway to the Volleyball Nations League in 2025.

With little time to gear up for the tournament, the team is focusing on two important factors.

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“We are very clear on communication right now that when there are adjustments that need to be made, it needs to be said immediately in real-time during training because we don’t have a lot of time to train,” De Guzman said, adding that they have only been spending three hours per day for court practice. INQ

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