Recently, DLSU’s rookie setter Marionne Alba’s play has been compared to that of no less than veteran playmaker Kim Fajardo’s style. Fans couldn’t help but note the “similarities” between the two Lady Spikers from a different generation, whether from the way they serve and set or their mere posture.
But for Fajardo, no setter is the same, and that each one – including Alba – has her own distinctive style of running the team’s offense. The comparison, according to her, may have been mostly influenced by the fact that she and Alba were both converted setters.
“For me unique kasi ‘yung mga players talaga e. May sari-sariling ano ‘yan. Siguro nakikita lang din nila kung paano ako nagsimula before,” the three-time UAAP Best Setter said to FOX Sports Philippines.
Much like Fajardo, who was formerly a utility spiker, Alba is also a former spiker during her high school days in Guardian Angel Academy.
A versatile player, the 5-foot-6 setter from CALABARZON was then converted as libero for the Philippine delegation which saw action in the ASEAN Schools Games in 2017 before being shifted to setting position for the 11-time UAAP champions.
But more than her versatility, what Fajardo really likes about the Palarong Pambansa standout is her fearlessness to take risk, which, according to her, is one of the most fundamental requirements to become a good setter.
“Kasi si Marionne (Alba) nakikita ko sa kaniya ma-experiment which is good. Kasi ‘yun naman talaga dapat ‘yung gawin kapag nag-eksperimento ka ibig sabihin nagte-take ka ng risk, which is good talaga. Kasi parang marami kang option, marami kang p’wedeng gawin. So ibig sabihin mas malawak ‘yung kakayahan mong gawin ‘yung isang bagay lalo na sa setting,” the multi-awarded setter said.
“Sa isang setter kasi, importante ‘yung ganiyon e, na magkaroon ng different plays para malaman mo kung ano ‘yung effective, kung sinong tao ‘yung ganitong palo. Ganiyon talaga e. Kailangan mo kabisaduhin kung anong kakayahan ng mga spikers mo. Nakikita ko sa kaniya ‘yun. Same as Cobby din naman,” she added.
Currently an understudy to Cobb, Alba comes in whether to tinker the team’s offense or provide additional floor defense at the back. If everything goes out just fine, she will be La Salle’s primary setter two years from now.
Like Alba, Fajardo also served as secondary setter during her rookie years before she blossomed as one of the best setters in the UAAP history.
On Alba’s future for the Lady Spikers, who have produced quite a few good setters in the past, Fajardo said that anything can happen, though there is no need to worry as long as Alba is under the tutelage of de Jesus.
“Siyempre hindi natin masasabi kung ano ‘yung future e kasi malay mo may mga dumating. May mas matangkad, may mas magaling. Kasi iba-iba. Iba-iba ‘yung talento ng mga setters. Ako, spiker ako dati, kinonvert lang. Hindi natin alam baka ‘yung mga fourth year diyan p’wede palang mag-set,” she said.
“Tingin ko naman, as long as si coach Ramil nandiyan, okay,” she added.
Asked about her advice to the young rookie, Fajardo said mistakes hone the best out of someone and that Alba and other young setters should not be afraid of making one.
“Hindi lang kay Alba, sa lahat na rin ng mga bata. ‘Wag silang matakot magkamali. Kapag nagkamali marami kang chance para bumawi, para i-prove ‘yung sarili mo. Ang pagkakamali, diyan ka talaga matututo. Siyempre ita-try mo ‘yung ganitong bagay, hindi nag-work. Ita-try mo ulit, hindi nag-work. Kung hindi talaga, wala. Mag-try ka ng bago,” she closed.