With battle-tested playmaker Jia Morado set to leave Japan earlier than expected due to club team commitments, Jasmine Nabor has been tapped to join the Philippine Women’s National Team in its training camp.
“Mabuting nandito na rin si Jas para may kapalitan din si Rhea [Dimaculangan], kasi mahirap din na pilitin dahil kababalik lang niya sa [calf injury],” said Nationals head coach Shaq Delos Santos.
Nabor previously suited up as one of the Philippine delegates in the second leg of the ASEAN Grand Prix. She joins Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Roselyn Doria on the reserve list of the tricolor squad.
The product of National University will serve as a reliever for Dimaculangan in lieu of Morado. The Creamline setter — along with Alyssa Valdez — will return to Manila on Friday to play for the Cool Smashers in the 2019 PVL Open Conference semifinals.
But beyond lending the Filipinas a hand in setting duties, Delos Santos believes Nabor’s participation will benefit the future of the country’s volleyball program.
“Kasi future setter din siya for the national team, kasi bata pa siya. And yung skills niya, okay din siya. I think exposure din,” Delos Santos bared.
“Malaking bagay ito kung may mga tune-ups kami, nakakalaro siya. Malaking bagay ‘yun.”
Nabor is expected to fly to the Japanese capital on Wednesday at the earliest. She will join Eya Laure, Jovelyn Gonzaga, and assistant coach Kungfu Reyes.
Still, Delos Santos pointed out that it will depend on how fast her papers will be processed. “Ang target dapat 23 if maayos ang papers niya,” he said.
The Philippine women’s squad mentor then disclosed that in case Nabor won’t make it on Wednesday, her latest chance to join the team is on October 26. Then, Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. official and national team program head Peter Cayco flies in to check on the squad.