Pantone-Nabor duo to power BaliPure's PVL campaign
Mark Escarlote on Apr 29, 2017 07:52 AM
BaliPure will bank on the combination of setter Jasmine Nabor and libero Lizlee Ann Gata-Pantone to fuel the Purest Water Defenders' drive for the crown.
BaliPure head coach Roger Gorayeb sees the combination of young setter Jasmine Nabor and grizzled libero Lizlee Ann Gata-Pantone as his biggest asset in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference.
Aside from tapping the services of seasoned Thai import Jaroensri Bualee and American Jennifer Keddy, a former Cal Poly mainstay, Gorayeb prides himself in having under his wings the local duo that combines youth and experience as the Purest Water Defenders go all-out to win it all.
“’Yung dalawang asset ko d’yan yung setter ko at libero. Maayos ang mga yan,” said Gorayeb.
Nabor proved to be the answer to National University’s years of playmaking woes when she was converted from hitter to setter in her second year with the Lady Bulldogs. Her skills complemented the height advantage and power of 6-foot-5 NU middle blocker Jaja Santiago when the Lady Bulldogs made a successful championship run in the V-League Collegiate Conference last year.
Nabor ended up fourth in the 79th UAAP setting statistics behind Kim Fajardo of De La Salle University, Jia Morado of Ateneo de Manila and Ayel Estranero of University of the Philippines.
Gata-Pantone is a decorated libero long before the emergence of Denden Lazaro and Dawn Macandili who built her reputation as a floor defense specialist when she led the Adamson Lady Falcons to a string of Final Four finishes.
“Natuwa nga si Jas, kilala niya (si Pantone) pero ngayon lang niya naka-teammate,” said Gorayeb. “Halos ‘di na siya tumatakbo sa bola kasi nandoon na (ang magandang receive). Sabi ko nga partida wala pang ensayo yan. Malaking bagay sa amin ‘yan.”
“In terms of defense makakabuhay sa amin si Lizlee. Hindi man si Lizlee si (Alyssa) Eroa equally capable din ‘yan pero iba ang maturity ni Lizlee sa laro eh,” he added. “Iba si Tatan, iba ang skill niya, ang maturity and decision-making niya sa laro.”
The veteran mentor’s crack crew of locals are composed of the core of his NU and San Sebastian College teams in the UAAP and NCAA, respectively, led by three-time NCAA MVP Grethcel Soltones, Jorelle Singh, Risa Sato and Aiko Urdas.
BaliPure tests its mettle against the Philippine Air Force Jet Spikers on Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.
Game time is at 2:00 p.m.
The opening playdate will air live over S+A Channel 23, S+A HD Channel 166 and via livestream.
Games are every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
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