PVL: Jonah Sabete draws praise from import Lindsey Vander Weide
MANILA, Philippines — After an explosive debut for Petro Gazz, Lindsey Vander Weide attributed their triumphant 2022 Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference debut to Jonah Sabete after they joined hands to beat Choco Mucho on Tuesday at Philsports Arena.
The American spiker, who had 20 attacks, three blocks, and two aces on her debut, lauded Sabete’s all-around game that fueled their 27-25, 25-22, 28-26 victory over Choco Mucho in a toe-to-toe battle.
“I love having Jonah as my opposite, honestly. It takes a little pressure off me, if I’m not scoring super well, I know Jonah’s gonna be scoring super well. She’s a super-athletic player that knows how to score, she’s swinging at every ball no matter the set, so I feel really confident having her on the court,” said Vander Weide on Sabete, who had 14 points, 14 digs, and 11 excellent receptions.
Aside from Sabete, the 6-foot-3 Oregon standout was glad how her teammates displayed grace under pressure, despite their tight encounter with the Flying Titans, who were powered by Odina Aliyeva’s 26-point explosion.
“It feels great, especially to do it in three [sets]. You never know how your team is gonna play until you play in an actual, real game. And I loved what we did today. That’s just the first of the rest of the conference, so I’m really confident in how we played today,” Vander Weide said.
“We know all these games are gonna be super competitive. We’re not gonna blow out any team probably pretty easily. So I think we came in with the mindset that the whole time, it was gonna be a fight. So we never let up in any of the sets, which was big,” she added.
The 24-year-old American, who played in Hungary and Greece in her past pro stints, is relishing her first competition in the Philippines and in Asia.
“I really like it so far. I’ve only been to Europe, this is my first time in the Philippines or in an Asian country. The environment and the energy are very different and I like it a lot. It kind of reminds me of how it was when I was in college,” she said.
It may be a solid debut for Vander Weide, but expect her to deliver more in Petro Gazz’s coming games, especially on Tuesday against their 2019 Reinforced Conference Finals, Creamline.
“I’m really pumped up after the first game. I’m a gamer, I like to play games, so I’m excited that the season has finally come to start, so I’m definitely gonna be bringing it,” she said. “I like playing against good teams, I feel like I play better when we’re playing against tough competition. It will definitely be a tough game, but I’m excited for it.”