AVC Cup: Thea Gagate continues to play solid for Alas Pilipinas

SCHEDULE: Alas Pilipinas at the AVC Challenge Cup 2024

Alas Pilipinas' Thea Gagate AVC Challenge CUp 2024 AVC schedule

Alas Pilipinas’ Thea Gagate during an AVC Challenge CUp 2024 game against India. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — Thea Gagate has been standing tall for Alas Pilipinas so far, helping the home team win its first two games in the AVC Challenge Cup.

Gagate sustained her fine form with 12 points, forming a strong wall with Fifi Sharma to overcome another slow start before taking down India, 22-25, 25-21, 25-17, 25-18, on Friday evening in front of 3,800 fans at Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

“Coming into every game, my mindset is to give my best always. And show what I can do and contribute to our team,” said Gagate in Filipino after drilling 11 attacks and a block.

The 6-foot-2 middle blocker provided four of the team’s seven blocks to finish with 11 points in their four-set win over Australia less than 24 hours ago.

READ: AVC Cup: Alas Pilipinas stops India to stay unbeaten at 2-0

Gagate said she is just living her dream of representing the country well and thriving against international players.

“I’m very grateful because I finally achieved my dream as an athlete to [play for the country]. I will continue to give my best,” said the La Salle star. “It’s hard to compete against international players, who are taller and more experienced. I’m not used to this level yet because in the UAAP, I’m the tallest one. This is a great experience for me.”

The three-time UAAP 1st Best Middle Blocker also lauded setter and captain Jia De Guzman for keeping the team together despite the limited preparation.

READ: AVC Cup: Jia De Guzman’s leadership brings Alas Pilipinas together

“Ate Jia has been a huge factor. She knows what to do inside the court. We’re very grateful to have her as our setter because even we only had a very short preparation, but still, she does her best to communicate and connect to each one of us,” Gagate said.

Gagate also relished the sisterhood with her La Salle teammates Angel Canino and Julia Coronel as well as former Lady Spikers Sharma and Dawn Macandili-Catindig, making their connection easier.

“The sisterhood is there although I’m not playing with Ate Dawn inside the court. But then, we also trained before with F2 Logistics so our communication and relationship inside the court are still there,” she said.

Gagate seeks to sustain her fine form when Alas guns for a semifinal berth against Iran (1-1) on Saturday at 7 p.m. before wrapping up its Pool A campaign against the also-ran Chinese Taipei (0-3).