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Jia de Guzman helps Denso Airybees win Japan V Cup title

April 8 ------ OVERSEAS champions are aplenty for Philippine volleyball as Jia De Guzman and her Japanese club Denso Airybees won the 2023-24 Japan V. Cup Division I title.

The Airybees held on to a hard-earned five-set victory over Hitachi Astemo Rivale, 25-20, 22-25, 25-20, 23-25, 15-12, on Sunday before knocking out a Jaja Santiago-less JT Marvelous side in the semifinals the day prior. De Guzman joined an elite club of Filipino volleyball aces who struck championship gold led by Santiago, who won the same tournament with her former Japan V. League club Ageo Medics in 2021.

Three more stars in 2024 alone racked up league titles in in their respective international leagues, including De Guzman’s former Creamline teammate Ced Domingo (Thailand), Bryan Bagunas (Taiwan), and Marck Espejo (Korea).

De Guzman played all but one of Denso's six games in the tournament and also picked up significant game time in Sunday's championship game. The V. Cup pocket tournament which subsequently followed weeks after the V. League proper was among key reasons leading to De Guzman's unavailability for Creamline in the ongoing 2024 PVL All-Filipino Conference.

Moreover, the PVL also ruled De Guzman ineligible at least for the current conference as the Cool Smashers excluded her from the 20-player roster. This was contrary to what Chery Tiggo did with Santiago, whose name was submitted to the league as part of their official lineup, making her eligible for a late conference debut should she and the club decide to do so.



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