Thea Gagate, Julia Coronel excited to play with Jia De Guzman

thea gagate, julia coronel excited to play with jia de guzman

Thea Gagate, Julia Coronel excited to play with Jia De Guzman

MANILA, Philippines—La Salle’s Julia Coronel and Thea Gagate have a lot of reasons to smile on Wednesday and it goes beyond more than being included in the Philippine national women’s volleyball team.

Other than being awarded the bronze medal of the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament, Lady Spikers Coronel and Gagate were announced to be part of the newly-monikered Alas Pilipinas earlier this morning.

They are also ecstatic with the fact that they’ll be playing with one of the country’s finest in Jia De Guzman.

READ: Angel Canino, Bella Belen commit to play for PH team, sources say

“She’s a super experienced setter and I’m excited to be a setter for our team. It’s pressuring but it’s something to be happy about. It’ll be a good experience,” said Gagate in Filipino at Mall of Asia Arena.

“I’ve been looking up to her ever since and it’s really exciting. I can’t imagine ever being teammates with her. I’m really looking forward to what I’ll get to learn from her and the rest of our Ates who’re in the team and are veterans,” added Coronel.

Coronel and Gagate’s exemplary tandem work powered La Salle to a podium finish in the UAAP with an 11-3 record.

While the power duo and La Salle fell short at the hands of University of Santo Tomas in the Final Four, the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) certainly took notice and decided to include them in the latest iteration of the national team.

READ: Jia De Guzman set for PH team return in AVC Challenge Cup

“This has really been a dream of mine ever since so I was really happy when I heard that I’ll be part of this pool or lineup. I really want to pursue this and get as much experience as I can because that’s really a big goal for myself and the rest of us,” said Coronel.

“We’ll get the opportunity and the experience to improve ourselves, we’ll get to know where we lack and what else we can improve on. It’s very exciting to get to compete internationally with international teams. It’s something that I’m looking forward to and I’m really excited to play for the flag,” she added.

The Taft-bred setter and Gagate will also be joined by fellow La Salle spiker Angel Canino, UAAP stars Casiey Dongallo, Alyssa Solomon and Bella Belen, who also won her second league MVP award on the same day.

Joining De Guzman in the veterans’ list, meanwhile, are Sisi Rondina, Cherry Nunag, Eya Laure, Jennifer Nierva, Vanie Gandler, Dawn Macandili-Catindig, Dell Palomata, Faith Nisperos and Fifi Sharma.

Playing with those Premier Volleyball League (PVL) spikers is something Gagate is also looking forward to.

“I’m really looking forward to the experience because this is our chance to go with our other Ates who’s in the pros and at the same time, face the other international teams,” said the Season 86 1st Best Middle Blocker.

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