De Guzman Jia de Guzman and the Philippines gave China everything to handle Tuesday night. AVC photo

De Guzman elated to represent PH again

August 24, 2022 Theodore P. Jurado 348 views

JIA de Guzman is so elated to don the Philippine jersey again in the AVC Cup for Women.

Making her first international appearance since the 30th Southeast Asian Games in 2019, De Guzman knows the great responsibility in competing for the country.

“It feels great to represent the flag again,” De Guzman said the Philippines gave continental powerhouse China everything to handle before dropping a 16-25, 22-25, 20-25 decision Tuesday night at the Philsports Arena.

“We always say with my teammates, it is always a privilege to represent the flag the best we can. And we’re going into this campaign with everything we’ve learned these past few years as a team.

So, we’re just praying for everyone’s kind support,” the decorated Creamline setter added.

Aside from her scintillating playmaking that kept the Chinese defense at times guessing, De Guzman was solid in the service area, contributing two of the hosts’ eight aces.

She also made things happen for spikers Tots Carlos, Michele Gumabao and Jema Galanza, who produced double-digit scoring production.

With the Philippines’ gallant challenge against Vietnam, where De Guzman missed the match due to health and safety protocols, and China, the country hopes that it has earned the support of the Filipino fans.

Despite missing top spiker Alyssa Valdez and dropping its first two matches in Pool A, the national women’s team, if the Tuesday night showing was a gauge, can still make it to the quarterfinals.

After playing Iran last night, the Philippines will wrap up its preliminary round assignments against a young South Korea squad today.

“Each player who goes to represent the flag, every team that goes to represent the flag, iba-iba kami ng experiences doing it. So one thing is for sure, any player going into the court representing the flag will do their best,” said De Guzman, who is using her married name in international play for the first time.

“So, hopefully, everyone supports us,” she added.