international volleyball

De Guzman praises young Koreans’ energy, rookie Bernardo as PH reaches AVC quarters

JR Isaga
De Guzman praises young Koreans’ energy, rookie Bernardo as PH reaches AVC quarters

VETERAN PRESENCE. Jia de Guzman shines in her Philippine women's volleyball team return.


Philippine women's volleyball team captain Jia de Guzman sings praises for the young South Korean squad and rookie teammate Lorie Bernardo at the 2022 AVC Cup for Women

MANILA, Philippines – Jia de Guzman was all smiles after the Philippine women’s volleyball team sent the young South Koreans packing from the 2022 Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Cup for Women with a straight-sets schooling on Thursday, August 25.

The national team captain was not only happy for her teammates as they reached the quarterfinals, but also for the Korean youngsters’ energy and positive attitude in the face of multiple blowout losses.

“We’ve had our fair share of going up against younger teams. We were a young team also, and we know what kind of energy they bring,” she said after the game. “We’ve watched the games they played, and even though they were down two sets, they still kept the same energy and kept fighting.”

De Guzman also singled out praise for her Creamline rookie teammate Lorie Bernardo, who finished with 3 points in limited minutes and showed great promise both on offense and defense.

“We’re really happy because we’ve seen how hard she works in training. As in, if someone would overload out of all of us, it’s her,” De Guzman said of middle blocker Bernardo. “She’s really ramping up her skills.”

“She wants to be at par with all of us, and we’re trying to be at par with her energy that she brings to the team as well. We’re really happy that she had a great game also today.”

Now faced with a huge challenge in the quarterfinals against longtime Southeast Asian (SEA) Games tormentor Thailand, De Guzman and the rest of the Philippine team hope to carry their winning momentum forward, and give the Thais a great challenge, if not a possible upset.

“Thailand is really a juggernaut, but we believe in our system. Regardless of the results when we go up against Thailand, we know it’s a learning experience. We will do our best to give a good fight for them,” she continued.

“Everyone saw how they played in [Volleyball Nations League]. They’re a very strong team. They went up against the strongest teams around the world. So, they’re no pushovers. They’re a young team, but they’re very cohesive. They’ve been training together for years. We cannot loosen up.” –

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