De Guzman shines and leads Alas Pilipinas to a hot start in the AVC Challenge Cup


MANILA, Philippines – After a strong 2-0 start in the AVC 2024 Challenge Cup, the Alas Pilipinas national volleyball team is in good shape.

But it was not luck that brought the Philippines victory against Australia and India. Behind these victories lies the wit and determination of experienced top setter and team captain Jia De Guzman.

After a similar result in the opening match against Australia (22:25, 25:19, 25:16, 25:2), the Philippines also lost the first set against India last Friday, May 24 (22:25, 25:21, 25:17, 25:18).

The team captain talked about how proud she is of her team and the adjustments they make during the game.

“What I'm really proud of is my team because everyone was really ready to step up and we adapted quickly in the game. India was a big challenge, a bit more than Australia because they were scouting us in our last game. I'm just really proud of this team,” said De Guzman after the game.

De Guzman activated De La Salle's standout players Angel Canino and Thea Gagate, scoring 22 and 12 points respectively, and praised the young guns' fearlessness.

“They bring a different kind of power, a different fire and a different energy to the field that has given us seniors the same drive. It's really a good mix of fire, energy and composure in the game, especially when we're really working on our finals right now.”

Although De Guzman lost the first sets of his two previous winning matches, he hopes to reduce his errors.

“I think in the first set we made a lot of unforced errors because we were close in attacking and blocking. But now we're trying to reduce our errors and work on our in-game adjustments so we can bounce back quickly.”

The experienced setter plays for the Philippines and is extremely grateful to the Filipino fans for their support during the games.

“Well, it feels great. It's still something different playing at home with the home crowd. I'm so grateful to all our fans who support us from here, from home and from all over the world.”

The next match of the Philippine national team against Taiwan will be on Sunday, May 26, at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.