In a move that's sending ripples of excitement throughout Philippine volleyball, Jia de Guzman, the celebrated setter who has graced the courts with Creamline, is embarking on an overseas adventure of a lifetime.
Her destination? Japan's V.League Division 1, where she will be representing the Denso Airybees as an import.
Creamline, her long-time home, stands resolutely behind her decision, showcasing unwavering support for their ace setter.
The official statement from the Cool Smashers' management leaves no room for doubt. They are firmly in Jia De Guzman's corner as she prepares to make waves in Japan.
Her illustrious career, highlighted by an impressive eight-time Best Setter title in the Premier Volleyball League, has been nothing short of sensational, and it all unfolded under the Creamline banner.
Denso, the Japanese club, wasted no time in making their intentions clear. The announcement of their prized acquisition was greeted with anticipation and excitement. It's a new chapter for De Guzman, and her new team is eager to see what she can bring to the table.
During her tenure with Creamline, Jia De Guzman was the linchpin that led the team to six championships, and her accolades include four Finals Most Valuable Player awards. Her contributions on the court have been nothing short of legendary, and now, the country is eager to witness her magic on a global stage.
The statement from Creamline captures the essence of their feelings towards her departure.
"To say the least, our hearts are brimming with pride and excitement for Jia as she embarks on this incredible journey to play for Denso Airybees," it reads.
With Jia De Guzman's departure, Creamline faces a new chapter, and the spotlight will shine on Kyle Negrito as the sole setter. The upcoming season-ending All-Filipino Conference of the PVL is scheduled to commence in mid-October, and the Cool Smashers are gearing up for the challenge ahead.
But the story doesn't end here. The statement hints at a heartwarming possibility: Jia De Guzman's eventual return to her Cool Smashers family.
"While we'll undoubtedly miss her presence on the court, we wholeheartedly support her decision to pursue this unique opportunity. These next few months may mark a temporary separation, but they'll also be a testament to our unwavering commitment to the team and our players' overall development," the statement reassures.
The 2023-24 V.League season looms large on the horizon, set to run from late October to April of the following year. Jia De Guzman is poised to make her debut on October 28, a clash of titans against the reigning champions, NEC Red Rockets. Just a week later, on November 4, another tantalizing showdown awaits as she faces fellow Filipino sensation Jaja Santiago's JT Marvelous.
The concluding words of the statement encapsulate the sentiments of Creamline and its loyal fanbase: "The management, her teammates, and coaches stand firmly behind Jia every step of the way. We eagerly await her return, ready to welcome her back with open arms and countless stories to share.
"The court will not be the same without her, but we're confident that her journey will inspire us all."
As Jia De Guzman spreads her wings and takes flight to Japan, the whole country watches with bated breath, knowing that her journey promises to be nothing short of extraordinary.