Jia De Guzman tells Alas Pilipinas after loss: Just keep playing

Jia De Guzman tells Alas Pilipinas after AVC Cup loss: Just keep playing

/ 11:02 PM May 28, 2024

SCHEDULE: Alas Pilipinas at AVC Challenge Cup 2024 

Jia de Guzman and Alas Pilipinas in the AVC Challenge Cup semifinals against Kazakhstan.

Jia de Guzman and Alas Pilipinas in the AVC Challenge Cup semifinals against Kazakhstan. -MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — Despite losing in the knockout semifinal, Alas Pilipinas star Jia De Guzman is encouraging the team to just keep playing with a chance for a bronze medal in the AVC Challenge Cup within reach.

Kazakhstan sent the erstwhile-unbeaten Alas Pilipinas crashing back to earth after sweeping its semis match, 25-23, 25-21, 25-14, to forge a winner-take-all Final match against defending champion Vietnam.

The Filipinos, meanwhile, try to repeat against Australia in the battle for third on Wednesday. for a chance win the country’s first-ever medal in any AVC competition since 1961.

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READ: Alas Pilipinas falls to Kazakhstan, battles for AVC Cup bronze

“Kahit anong mangyari, just keep playing. Manalo, matalo, may matutunan ka sa laro at sa kalaban mo,” said the national team captain.

“Kazakhstan was in our level before, they just kept playing. Vietnam was in our level before, they just kept playing. So kami, yun din yung gagawin namin. Inaasahan namin na tuloy-tuloy pa rin yung suporta para makalaro lang kami nang dire-diretso at maka-improve pa kami as a team.”

With no time to rest ahead of their bronze medal match against Australia, the eight-time PVL Best Setter and the Filipino Spikers brace for a tougher duel against Australia, which they beat in four sets a few days ago.

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

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“The team’s mindset going tomorrow kailangan makapagpahinga nga maayos kasi siyempre ramdam narin iyong fatigue from throughout the games,” De Guzman said. “We won against Australia [back in the preliminaries] pero bukas makalaban namin sila na napag-aralan narin kami so back to the drawing board kami.”

Despite falling short of making it to the final, De Guzman remained proud of her teammates, who only had a limited time to prepare for this continental tournament.

“Sobrang proud ko talaga sa team. Wala akong ibang words for it kasi ramdam ko na lumalaban kahit dehado kami, kahit naghahabol kami, kahit mabilis kaming napupuntusan ng Kazakhstan,” she said.

“Feel ko pa rin na gustong-gusto lumaban ng bawat isa sa amin whether inside the court or sa bench namin. Bukas, kailangang mas higitan pa namin.”

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De Guzman, who is sharing her experience from Japan with the Denso Airybees, praised Arah Panique for stepping up for the team when it needed a spark.

“Si Arah kasi, sobrang ganda ng pasok niya kanina. She added so much sa offense namin and at the same time, she’s just so energetic and so eager to play na kaming nasa loob, nadadala rin kami,” she said. “Ang ganda rin kasi nakikita namin na malalim din yung bench namin and bukas magagamit pa rin namin yun.”

TAGS: Alas Pilipinas, AVC Challenge Cup 2024, Jia De Guzman

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