2019 ASEAN Grand Prix: Nabor gets acid test in starting role
Mark Escarlote on Oct 04, 2019 08:48 PM
Yung napi-feel ko excited na kinakabahan kasi syempre first time kong magiging first setter para i-represent yung bansa natin tapos syempre Thailand pa yun -- Jasmine Nabor
STA. ROSA, Laguna -- Backup setter Jasmin Nabor will be clinging to the pep talk given to her by prized playmaker Jia Marado when the Philippines faces powerhouse team Thailand on Saturday in the ASEAN Grand Prix second leg at the Sta. Rosa Multi-purpose gym here.
The second time senior national team member will be taking the main role in orchestrating the offense of the Pinay spikers in the absence of Morado, who had to fly to Iloilo to fulfill her club duties.
“Kanina nilapitan niya ako agad na kaya ko daw yan bukas [Saturday],” said Nabor, who was tapped as a replacement setter after Fil-American Alohi Robins-Hardy opted to withdraw from the team because of troubles securing a Philippine passport.
Nabor saw minutes on court as a reliever for Morado in the Nationals’ dominating, 25-21, 25-23, 25-21, win over Vietnam, as head coach Shaq Delos Santos gave the National University product a feel of the competition.
“Ipakita ko daw yung galing ko tapos nakikinig lang ako palagi sa kanya. Nanghihingi ako ng instructions every training tapos kausapin ko lang daw palagi yung teammates ko kasi syempre yung connection wala pa eh,” said Nabor, enumerating some of Morado’s instructions.
Nabor will not only go up against Thailand’s setter Pornpun Guedapard but will also have to work with an undermanned squad with top hitter Alyssa Valdez, Maddie Madayag and Jovelyn Gonzaga joining Morado in Iloilo.
A tough but welcome challenge for the young talent, who came on board just last Monday together with Grethcel Soltones, who replaced injured Kalei Mau (left Achilles).
“Yung nafi-feel ko excited na kinakabahan kasi syempre first time kong magiging first setter para i-represent yung bansa natin tapos syempre Thailand pa yun,” said the former youth team member who debuted with the senior team last year in the AVC Asian Cup in Thailand.
Delos Santos has his full confidence in Nabor in filling Morado’s shoes.
“Alam naman niya yung magiging commitment niya. So mindset and preparation lang,” said the mentor. “I think excited din siya maglaro and alam naman natin ang quality niya kasi future siya eh, bata pa pero alam namin yung future na maganda ang mararating.”
For Nabor, she’s taking a mindset of just playing her game.
“Siguro lalaruin ko lang kung ano yung laro ko tapos mag-focus pa ko, makipag-communicate pa ko sa spiker ko kasi onti lang yung time ko na nakasama ko sila,” she said. “At saka malaking opportunity yung kahit papano ginagamit ako kanina kasi para at least tumaas yung confidence ko sa paglalaro.”
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles