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Tiebreaker Times

2024 FIVB Challenger Cup

Vietnam star T4 praises Jia De Guzman’s playmaking

Vietnam star Tran Thi Thanh Thuy lauded Alas Pilipinas team captain Jia De Guzman for her impressive connection with her spikers during their matchup in the FIVB Challenger Cup knockout quarterfinals last Friday.

Thuy, also known as T4, said that part of the reason why the Philippines played well against them was because of De Guzman’s playmaking and chemistry with her teammates – something2 evident in their solid runs in the second and third sets.

The 6-foot-4 veteran wing spiker shared that she was eager to go up against De Guzman, especially after learning that the Filipino playmaker suited up for her former team, Denso, in the Japan V-League.

T4 played for the Airybees during the 2019-20 season of the Japan V-League and helped the team secure a fourth-place finish.

“The Philippines’ performance is very good because they have a good connection with the setter [Jia De Guzman]. I’m very interested in her because she just played in Japan. So I think it’s a good match,” shared Thuy, who currently plays for Kuzeyboru in Turkey.

FIVB-Challenger-2024-Philippines-vs.-Vietnam-T4-4790-1 Vietnam star T4 praises Jia De Guzman’s playmaking 2024 FIVB Challenger Cup News Volleyball  - philippine sports news

A couple of months ago, the 27-year-old outside hitter witnessed how De Guzman steered the Philippines to a bronze finish in the Challenge Cup. The eight-time PVL Best Setter was awarded as the top playmaker of the tournament as well.

Meanwhile, T4 missed the entire tournament due to an undisclosed injury as the Vietnamese bulldozed over the competition and won their second consecutive Challenge Cup title.

The 6-foot-4 outside hitter only returned to action midway through the second set of their Challenger Cup debut when the Philippines tied the game at 12-all.

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Thuy admitted that the pressure slowly crept into the Vietnamese side heading into their match against the hometown bet. Still, she felt glad that the team was able to shake it off in time to secure the sweep.

“Before the match, it was really stressful because we were playing the Philippines. You guys have an audience that is very enthusiastic. I really love it,” said T4.

“We need to try and relax, focus, and enjoy the game.”

Vietnam advanced to the semifinals after the win and will face Czechia on Saturday night as they look to secure a seat in the Finale.

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