Battle of the giants: Top Air Force recruit Dell Palomata looks forward to face-off with Jaja Santiago
Dell Palomata of the Air Force comes up with a huge V-League debut. Photo from V-League Facebook page

DELL Palomata didn’t get the matchup she wanted in her V-League debut when Air Force took on a Bali Pure side missing Alyssa Valdez, and now the new Jet Spikers recruit is training her sights on Jaja Santiago and the Lady Bulldogs.

"Si Alyssa Valdez ang idol ko, oo nga po sayang nga po eh wala siya sa game. Gusto ko siya kalabanin at saka si Jaja Santiago," said Palomata.

"Siya (Santiago) 'yung talagang gusto kong makalaban, siya 'yung gusto kong ipakita kung sino ang mas malakas sa aming dalawa," she added.

The faceoff won't be until June 15, when the Jet Spikers and Lady Bulldogs clash.

Palomata led the way as Air Force turned back an undermanned Bali Pure side in four sets in their opening match in the Open Conference.

The 20-year-old from Aklan scored 16 points from 10 kills, one block and five service aces.

[See Dell Palomata, Judy Caballejo lead way as Air Force downs shorthanded Bali Pure in four sets]

Now Palomata, a 6-foot-3 open spiker, is gearing up for a showdown with National University’s 6-foot-5 middle blocker, saying that although the playing conditions are far different than what she’s used to, she won’t back down from any opponent.

"First time ko po dito at saka nanibago lang po ako sa paglaro ko dito kasi hindi ako sanay sa mga malalamig na lugar at saka hindi ako sanay sa mga air con ganon po," said the incoming fourth year Interdisciplinary Studies major at University of Saint La Salle in Bacolod.

"Opo, medyo may kaba po sa akin, pero nawala po kasi noong pumasok na ako kaya ko naman po kahit sino ang kalaban ko diyan hindi ako nagpapatinag kahit star pa sila, kaya ko naman sila higitan eh," she said.

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