MANILA, Philippines – Former two-time UAAP Best Setter Jem Ferrer could not be more proud of Ateneo setter Julia Morado after the rookie played a splendid game in Game 1 of the UAAP Season 76 women’s volleyball finals.
Showing no signs of nerves in her first-ever Finals game, Morado tallied 40 excellent sets and kept the La Salle defense guessing as she ably orchestrated the Ateneo offense en route to a four-set victory – the first loss of the Lady Spikers all season.
“Si Jia, setter siya at sobrang hirap ng trabaho niya,” said Ferrer, part of the fabled “Fab Five” who led the Lady Eagles to two Finals appearances. “Sobrang saya ko para sa kanya.”
“Siyempre I’m so proud of Jia. Meron pang ibang setter na mas veteran pa kesa kay Jia, pero s’ya ‘yung nilagay d’yan kasi malaki ‘yung tiwala sa kanya ni Coach, na kaya niyang gampanan,” she added.
Morado, for her part, said she was not pressured by the thought of having to fill Ferrer’s shoes.
“I don’t think of it as pressure. I think of it as dapat, mag-step up ako, para ma-fill ko ‘yung shoes ni Ate Jem, and that makes it easier for me,” said Morado.
Morado said she has long idolized Ferrer, but stressed they are completely different players. “Iba si Ate Jem. Idol ko siya, pero iba din ako. I’m just going to play my game, and susundin ko kung ano ang kaya kong sundin kay Ate Jem.”
Morado finished second in the Best Setter race after averaging 6.83 excellent sets per set. La Salle’s Kim Fajardo normed 6.92 excellent sets per set in the Lady Spikers’ 14-game sweep of the elimination round.