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Tiebreaker Times

2024 AVC Challenge Cup for Women

Jia De Guzman urges Alas Pilipinas to emulate Kazakhstan’s, Vietnam’s persistence

Down but not out.

If there’s one thing Alas Pilipinas learned from their 23-25, 21-25, 14-25 semifinal loss to Kazakhstan, it’s that you can’t take the fight out of Filipinos.

That’s something team captain Jia De Guzman commended her team for after the match, which lasted just one hour and 31 minutes.

“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,” said De Guzman, who took almost 20 minutes after the match to accomodate the fans who trooped to the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

“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,” continued the eight-time PVL Best Setter.

AVC-2024-Semis-Philippines-vs.-Kazakhstan-Jorge-De-Brito-8244-1 Jia De Guzman urges Alas Pilipinas to emulate Kazakhstan's, Vietnam's persistence 2024 AVC Challenge Cup for Women Alas Pilipinas News Volleyball  - philippine sports news

The comeback was most evident from the very first set when the Kazakhs built a monstrous 21-10 advantage, but the Nationals never lost faith.

Led by last-minute replacement Arah Panique, Alas fought back to within a point, 22-23, with a blistering 12-2 blast – only to fall 23-25.

Despite the loss, the Philippines can still make history by earning the country’s first-ever medal in any Asian-level national team tournament in the Battle for Bronze tomorrow against Australia at 4:00 PM.

In pool play, Alas already defeated the Volleyroos, dropping the opening frame before taking the next three, 22-25, 25-19, 25-16, 25-21.

After the loss, De Guzman simply told her teammates to continue playing despite being out of championship contention, knowing they are on the right path.

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The Denso Airybees import in Japan V.League cited the finalists, Kazakhstan and Vietnam, as squads that never stopped even when faced with challenges during their early days.

“Just keep playing. Just keep playing. Kahit anong mangyari, just keep playing. Manalo, matalo, may matutunan ka sa laro, may matututunan ka sa kalaban mo,” De Guzman told her team.

“Kazakhstan was on our level before, they just kept playing. Vietnam was on 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.”

Written By

Just a kid from Cavite trying to make a difference.

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