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MANILA, Philippines – Even from thousands of kilometers away, former Creamline star setter Jia Morado-de Guzman still found a way to assist the Cool Smashers in the first of their best-of-three PVL All-Filipino finals against sister team Choco Mucho on Thursday, December 14.
Minutes before tip-off at the Mall of Asia Arena, the league aired a short clip of the Denso Airybees import giving her message of support for her longtime teammates, before De Guzman herself posted a tweet right after Creamline edged its finals-debuting foe in four sets.
My heart!!! 💗💗💗— Julia de Guzman 🌸 (@juliamdeguzman) December 14, 2023
Asked about these moments after the game, Creamline’s stars understandably turned emotional as they shared how much they missed their former captain.
“Are we all about to cry?” Alyssa Valdez joked in Filipino.
“First of all, it’s my first time to play with Creamline without Jia, so it’s kind of hits different for us, but of course, we’ve already been playing with Kyle (Negrito) for a while. Still, we really miss Jia because of how composed she is in these big games. But we’re really happy for her because she’s playing well in Japan.”
Jema Galanza, meanwhile, detailed how De Guzman’s finals Game 1 show of support was not a one-off instance.
“Since day one without her, she had always been texting us good luck, to do well. Even in personal messages, she always says good luck and keeps on telling us to keep fighting,” she said in Filipino.
“I was just so happy I got to see here earlier in the big screen because we really miss her on the court. Ate Jia is really different, given how she’s so calm, and how she moves the team. Thank you so much, ate Jia.”
If ever Creamline wraps up the series on Saturday, December 16, at the Araneta Coliseum, it will be first championship the Cool Smashers will win without De Guzman orchestrating the offense. But as their 14-0 record shows, they are doing exceptionally well without their eight-time Best Setter.
So for now, De Guzman will just continue to spread her wings in unfamiliar territory, given how her friends back home seemingly already have it figured out. – Rappler.com