Jia earns Thai star’s respect

Thailand setter Pornpun Guedpard has nothing but respect for Philippines team captain Jia de Guzman in the ongoing Asian Volleyball Confederation Cup for Women at the Philsports Arena.

The Thai’s top playmaker praised De Guzman’s skills as both teams are slated to clash in the quarterfinals.

The Philippines is facing the Thais at press time with the winner entering the semifinals.

The last time both setters faced off was at the 30th Southeast Asian Games in 2019 where Thailand won 25-16, 25-22, 33-32 in the elimination.

“Yes I have met her in the SEA Games. She is a very good player, very good setter. I think she can bring the best out of them,” Pornpun said.

De Guzman’s inclusion in the Creamline-back national team was crucial as the country managed to book a spot in the quarterfinals.

The 27-year-old setter has to sit out the Philippines’ first game due to health and safety reasons but managed to get back in the game against defending champion China despite a 25-16, 25-22, 25-20 beating last week.

De Guzman complemented Pornpun’s fast sets and said that they have to be wary of the young core the Thais are parading.

Leading the way for Thailand are Pimpichaya Kokram, Chatchu-on Moksri and Tichakorn Boonlert with the Philippines’ Premier Volleyball League Invitational Conference Most Valuable Player Tots Carlos, Michelle Gumabao and PVL Invitational Finals MVP Ced Domingo raring to meet them head-on.

“Pornpun is playing for the national team for the longest time. We know how fast-paced she can set, she has the height. So we will do our best that we can,” said De Guzman, who is playing her first stint since the 30th SEA Games.

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