Jema Galanza vows to give all for medal-hungry PH women’s volleyball team – rezal404

Creamline PH's Jema Galanza.

Creamline PH’s Jema Galanza. -CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Jema Galanza vows to give her all as the Philippine women’s volleyball team tries to snap out of an 18-year medal drought in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia.

The do-it-all spiker from Creamline is determined to help the national team end years of heartbreaks in her second stint in the regional tournament starting on Tuesday against host Cambodia, 6 pm at Indoor Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh.

“Siyempre mag-wish na tayo ng mataas so makakuha talaga ng medal this sea games kasi siyempre hindi ko sure kung makakalaro pa sa next, kung kukuhanin pa. So gagawin ko ang best ko at ng team para makuha yung goal na yun,” Galanza told Inquirer Sports.

“Ako naman lagi ko lang gagawin yung best ko kung anong sasabhin ng coaches yun yung gagawin ko. Basta ako ang goal ko is makakuha kami ng medal,” she added.

Despite the limited time to prepare, Galanza, who was part of the national team’s fourth-place finish last year in Hanoi, Vietnam, said they improved their chemistry after a two-week training camp in Japan.

“For two weeks, the team has improved a lot. We developed our connection and created a lot of combination plays. We’re thankful that we experienced a training camp in Japan because we faced a lot of challenges like the weather and of course, the Japanese teams that pushed us to our limits,” she said in Filipino.

“Most of my teammates are professional and veteran players, having them lessens my worries because I know that they will support me no matter what.”

The former Premier Volleyball League MVP was vital to Creamline’s three championships in the past four tournaments.

She and the Cool Smashers already represented the national team twice last year, giving the country’s best finish of sixth place in the AVC Cup for Women but placing last in the Asean Grand Prix with Alyssa Valdez missing both tournaments due to dengue.

Valdez will be available this time along with other Cool Smashers, Tots Carlos, Jia De Guzman, Michele Gumabao, Ced Domingo, and Kyla Atienza.

National team coach Jorge Souza de Brito is also pinning his hopes on Mylene Paat, Kat Tolentino, Dell Palomata, Gel Cayuna, Glaudine Troncoso, Cherry Nunag, and Bang Pineda

“We really trust the system of coach Jorge. And right now, we are communicating well as a team and we’ve been polishing the movement of everyone,” Galanza said.

The Nationals need to finish in the top two of Group B, where they will also face silver medalist Vietnam on Wednesday, before ending the round on the next day against Singapore.

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