Jia De Guzman 'grateful' as Alas Pilipinas adds more firepower | Inquirer Sports

Jia De Guzman ‘grateful’ as Alas Pilipinas adds more firepower

/ 03:47 PM June 19, 2024

Jia De Guzman Alas Pilipinas VNL

Jia De Guzman and Alas Pilipinas during a VNL meet and greet at Mall of Asia Arena.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — Alas Pilipinas team captain Jia De Guzman welcomed new additions Jema Galanza, Bella Belen, and Alyssa Solomon ahead of the FIVB Challenge Cup on July 4 at Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

De Guzman is elated to have more talented wing spikers, as well as Tots Carlos, who wasn’t in the Alas meet and greet on Wednesday, as they play a do-or-die game against AVC Challenge Cup champion Vietnam in the qualifier for the Volleyball Nations League (VNL).

“We’re grateful that we were reinforced with Jema, Bella, and Alyssa because we had a very good line-up in the AVC and we’re welcoming every help that we can get,” said De Guzman in Filipino after their meet and greet in the VNL on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.

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READ: NU stars, Jema Galanza join Alas Pilipinas training

“They are also bringing a great experience and we’re hoping for more additions to have a deeper bench in the long run.”

Also part of Alas coach Jorge Souza De Brito’s pool are Challenge Cup bronze medalists Angel Canino as well as Sisi Rondina, Eya Laure, Fifi Sharma, Thea Gagate, Dawn Macandili-Catindig, Cherry Nunag, Dell Palomata, Faith Nisperos, Jennifer Nierva, Arah Panique, Julia Coronel, and Vanie Gandler.

University of the East rookie Casiey Dongallo is also part of the training pool but she’s still recovering from a hand injury.

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READ: Tots Carlos, Jema Galanza added to Alas Pilipinas pool

The Philippines and Vietnam collide in a knockout match with the winner advancing to the next round against the winner between Argentina and the Czech Republic.

“We’re doing our best to prepare well because we’re facing Vietnam so we’ve seen them play in person in AVC,” the eight-time PVL Best Setter said. “We’re taking it a day at a time, preparing, taking advantage of the longer preparation this time compared before in the AVC. So hopefully, we can get better results.”

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Also vying for the lone VNL spot are Belgium, Sweden, Puerto Rico, and Kenya.

De Guzman was happy to meet their fans before the game between France and Germany at MOA Arena/

“We didn’t expect that many people and we wanted to meet more but we lack time. We’re grateful for their support to Alas Pilipinas both men’s and women’s teams,” she said.

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TAGS: Alas Pilipinas, Jia De Guzman

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