Home Sports New set of starters making Alas Pilipinas unpredictable

New set of starters making Alas Pilipinas unpredictable

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SCHEDULE: Alas Pilipinas at the AVC Challenge Cup 2024

Alas Pilipinas' Jia De Guzman in their AVC Challenge Cup 2024 game against Chinese Taipei.

Alas Pilipinas star setter Jia De Guzman in the AVC Challenge Cup 2024 game against Chinese Taipei. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — Alas Pilipinas captain Jia De Guzman praised their new starters after making their team more unpredictable heading to the AVC Challenge Cup semifinals.

The star playmaker played with another set of starters with Faith Nisperos getting her first start but the Philippines still dominated Chinese Taipei, 25-13, 25-21, 25-18, to complete a four-game sweep of Pool A on Sunday evening at Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

“The bench is pretty deep. Everyone is ready to play and deliver even Julia Coronel as a setter. It’s good for us because at least we’re a bit more unpredictable against our opponents,” De Guzman told reporters.

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

Despite the limited preparation, the Denso Airybees Asian import in Japan believes this team has the right mix of players, so it’s no surprise they history by becoming the first Philippine volleyball team to enter the AVC semifinals since joining the confederation’s tournaments in 1961.

“We have a good mix of young players and veterans. It’s a good blend of fire, energy, and composure,” De Guzman said. “We hope to maintain this until the end and learn from our past games because the elimination round was a good training ground for us. Hopefully, we can get better results going into the next round.”

De Guzman and the nationals vie for a final berth against Kazakhstan in the semis on Tuesday.

READ: For just P15,000 each to play, Alas Pilipinas players earn fans’ hearts

“Kazakhstan is a very strong team, very tall also. We experienced playing taller and stronger teams in our bracket, and we will prepare with coach Jorge on our training tomorrow,” she said.

Whatever happens, the eight-time PVL Best Setter is proud of this team, staying optimistic for the remainder of their campaign.

“It feels great and I’m proud of our team’s achievement. What we went through wasn’t easy and we know it won’t be easier in the future because the semifinals is a different level. We’re just going in with a positive mindset,” De Guzman said.



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