Alas skipper Jia Morado-De Guzman stresses rise of Philippine volleyball 'takes years'

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Alas skipper Jia Morado-De Guzman stresses rise of Philippine volleyball 'takes years'
Jia Morado-De Guzman

MANILA, Philippines – Alas Pilipinas women captain Jia Morado-De Guzman acknowledged the challenges ahead for Philippine volleyball as the team heads to this week’s AVC Challenge Cup with short preparation time.

With only days of training with a complete lineup, De Guzman will have the tough challenge of leading a mix of veterans and young guns against our Asian neighbors in front of home fans at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

But with a lot of factors coming into play, De Guzman said that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to improving the Alas Pilipinas program.

“Well, the rise of Philippine volleyball is not an easy task. It takes years as it did with other countries as well,” De Guzman said during the team’s introductory press conference ahead of the AVC Challenge Cup on Monday. 

“We’d like to express our thanks also to UAAP, PVL (Premier Volleyball League) and PNVF (Philippine National Volleyball Federation), all the parties involved for making this possible because it’s easier said than done to improve as a country — in any sport. So this is one big step towards that,” she added.

De Guzman herself had only flown in to the country a couple of weeks ago, after wrapping up her campaign with the Denso Airybees in the Japan V. League. Then, as the UAAP only finished its competition last week, collegiate stars were also late to the preparations.

Still, with another shot at revamping the program, De Guzman can only hope that things will be better in the future.

“We keep saying that we have this very short preparation for this AVC, that is something that is out of our control but moving forward, hopefully, all the parties involved will continue to cooperate so we can each achieve our goals better in the future,” she said.

De Guzman banners a team which also features the likes of PVL mainstays Sisi Rondina, Eya Laure, Vanie Gandler, Jen Nierva, Dawn Macandili, and Dell Palomata, where they are also joined by UAAP stars like Angel Canino, Thea Gagate, Julia Coronel and Ara Panique.

Completing the lineup are Faith Nisperos, Fifi Sharma and Cherry Nunag.

The Philippines opens its campaign against Australia on Thursday, May 23, at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

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