Poetry in motion: Who are the PH top setters of 2018?


Through the years, the Philippines has produced quite a lot of good setters. From the veteran playmaking of Tina Salak, Rubie de Leon, and Chie Saet to the modern-day setting of Mich Cobb and Ayel Estrañero, the country will never run out of good setters to choose from.

Setters are the heart and soul of a team’s offense. With a setter on court, offense can be generated. With a really, really good setter, games can be won.

FOX Sports PH enumerated the finest setters in the Philippines for 2018.

5. Jasmine Nabor, NU/Smart

The first converted setter on the list, Jasmine Nabor’s craft continues to grow since her conversion two years ago. The lefty setter now plays with more maturity, which contributed largely in her squads’ campaigns.

Nabor was second in setting by the end of eliminations of the UAAP Season 80, towing the National University to another semifinals appearance. Suiting up for PayMaya, Nabor scored a silver medal in the Premiere Volleyball League (PVL) Reinforced Conference.

She was also part of the national team that competed in the AVC Cup for Women.

4. Deanna Wong, Ateneo/Ateneo-Motolite

Filling the void left by a Jia Morado should make a young setter’s knees shaking, but that was not the case for Deanna Wong. On her first year as starting setter for the Ateneo Lady Eagles, Wong dazzled right away as she emerged as UAAP’s Best Setter after besting NU’s Nabor and DLSU’s Cobb.

Wong’s playmaking was arguably a factor in the Lady Eagles’ bronze medal run. She sprung into action anew for the Ateneo-Motolite in the PVL Open Conference, where she ranked third in setting while the Katipunan-based squad settled for second place.

3. Rhea Dimaculangan, Petron

Rhea Dimaculangan is one of those players who doesn’t seems to age. Her connection with her spikers is still on point, her reverse sets are still the best in the game, and her tricks can still outplay her younger counterparts.

The bemedalled setter collected two championships last year, as Petron triumphed in the PSL Grand Prix and PSL All Filipino Conference, where she was hailed MVP. The Blaze Spikers, thanks to her, remained as the winningest team in the PSL — despite losing the Invitationals Cup to F2 Logistics.

Dimaculangan made the cut for the 20-woman pool of the national team. But instead of playing in the international arena anew, she stepped down from her duties to give way for the younger setters.

2. Kim Fajardo, F2 Logistics

Having a Kim Fajardo as setter is a luxury that F2 Logistics enjoyed in their fruitful campaigns. Not only was she a smart playmaker, she is a figure of composure during crucial times, thus keeping the Cargo Movers in control most of the time.

Fajardo wrote history as she swept the Best Setter awards of the three PSL indoor conferences last season, making her the first ever grandslam winner of the award and the most awarded setter in the league. The three-time UAAP top setter also paved the way as the Cargo Movers took home one gold and two silver medals.

She was called up for another tour of duty for national team for the third straight year as she played in the Asian Games. She also competed in the Sealect Tuna Women’s Volleyball Championship with F2 Logistics.

1. Jia Morado, Creamline

Jia Morado can never do wrong, especially last year.

Last year was truly a banner year for Morado as it marked the start of her semi-pro career and her return to the national team. By the end of the year, her portfolio was filled with achievements, and they didn’t come as a surprise.

Creamline’s move to recruit the one-time UAAP Best Setter was a stroke of genius, as Morado handed them the PVL Reinforced and PVL Open Conferences titles. Setting poetry in motion, she weaved her magic all season long for the Cool Smashers, thus earning her the well-deserved two Best Setter and two Finals MVP wins.

Known for her fast-paced plays, Morado found her way back to the national team as she served as reliever to Fajardo in the Asiad before starting for the team in the AVC Cup. She proved, yet again, that her name should always be included in the national team’s future lineups at all cost.

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