PLAYMAKERS Jia Morado and Kim Fajardo said they won't mind who between them gets the starting setter role for the women’s national volleyball team in the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang opening on August 18.
National coach Shaq Delos Santos said picking between the two former UAAP rivals is a beautiful problem to have and fans have weighed in on the debate.
But whatever their coach’s decision would be, Fajardo and Morado vowed to be professionals in their first-ever team-up.
“Wala naman akong issue doon. Kahit sino sa amin, okay lang. Wala naman akong care sa sabihin ng tao, hindi ko naman dadamdamin. Coaches na bahala doon, tiwala kami sa kanila,” said Fajardo, who was a former playmaker of De La Salle and now the ace setter of F2 Logistics in the Philippine Superliga.
Morado, the former Ateneo Lady Eagle who has been delivering the great plays to Creamline in the Premier Volleyball League, believes the coach's choice will be situational in nature.
“I think it all boils down to who is more effective considering 'yung mga spikers na ipapasok. Siyempre, different styles kami pero we're trying to make it standard para lahat makapalo kung sinuman ipasok sa loob ng court,” said.
“It's up to the coaches naman kung sino 'yung gagamitin. What we're trying to do now is build a connection with our spikers.”
The former rivals turned teammates insist there is no competition between them, focusing instead on building their team chemistry.
“We're playing on the same (part of the) court, not against each other naman. We ask each other kung paano 'yung sets ng ibang spikers. Nagtutulungan kaming dalawa,” said Morado, who was the UAAP Season 77 Best Setter and a three-time PVL Best Setter.
Fajardo, the three-time UAAP Best Setter and five-time top playmaker of the PSL, agreed.
“Sa loob ng team, ang magiging competition mo na lang diyan eh 'yung mga technique namin, sa skills namin,” she said. “Wala namang ibang pagbabasehan. Hindi naman namin iniisip na dapat ungusan ko 'to or what.”
Fajardo and Morado hope to bond when the national spikers hold their training camp in Japan starting on Sunday until August 16.
“Feeling ko kailangan pa rin talaga patibayin. Importante pa rin 'yung jelling sa loob ng court,” Fajardo admitted. “Magaling nga kami individually, pero hindi kami nagje-jell. Kailangan pa nang maraming oras din.”
“I think mas makikita namin sa training sa Japan. Importante talaga sa amin 'yung training doon kasi kumpleto kami,” Morado said.
“Sabi ni coach, skilled kami individually, ang importante na ma-build namin sa Japan is 'yung team chemistry. Hindi pa namin alam kung paano 'yung set ng iba, kung paano gumagalaw sa loob ng court 'yung ibang teammates namin.”