As the opening of the All-Filipino Conference nears, volleyball fans are excited to see the new-look Creamline Cool Smashers when they begin their title defense on Sunday, October 15, without main setter Jia de Guzman.
The Cool Smashers will enter a new era as they go for the second All-Filipino Conference this year with Kyle Negrito as their main playmaker.
According to Alyssa Valdez, while both setters have distinct playing styles, Negrito still sticks with the Creamline system.
“Play and style-wise, medyo magkaiba talaga. Pero system-wise, iisa lang naman ‘yung ini-implement sa ‘min ni coach. We just have to stick with that. Sana ‘yung result maging mas maganda rin talaga. We have to work with what we have right now. That makes it interesting for our team kasi panibagong challenge,” Valdez told reporters during the press conference on Wednesday, October 11.
She admitted that she is looking forward to playing again with De Guzman in the future.
While they miss the presence of the eight-time Best Setter of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL), they are also in full support of her endeavors in Japan V.League with Denso Airybees.
In fact, Valdez said they are planning to watch her long-time setter play in Japan.
“I think Jia showed everyone that she deserves that spot. She’s been one of the best setters we have here in the Philippines. We’re very happy and we look forward na talagang mahalin niya ‘yung sport because of this chance and opportunity,” the Phenom continued.
“We hope na magkaroon din kami … makalaro si Jia soon. We’re very excited to watch her live in Japan. Kung happy si Jia, mas doble ‘yung kasiyahan namin,” she added.
In September, De Guzman confirmed the rumors that she would be taking her talent to Japan.
This ended De Guzman’s six-year stint with Creamline in the PVL, which saw her win six championships and eight Best Setter awards, along with four Finals MVP trophies. (ABS-CBN News)