Jamenea Ferrer (center) dispenses instructions to her teammates on Perlas prior to a play. With her in the photo are Suzanne Roces (extreme left) and libero Jorella de Jesus.
What do PBA Star Hotshot Paul Lee and former Lady Blue Eagle Jamenea ‘Jem’ Ferrer have in common?
More than the fact that they are both born and raised in the tough Manila district of Tondo, the two have also amply proven themselves as wily and intelligent playmakers in their respective sports.
And perhaps like probably the hundred of volleyball players we see today playing leading roles on different collegiate teams, Jamenea, coined from the names of parents Jaime and Elena, is also a product of coach Jerry Yee’s now famous volleyball program.
In fact, Jem’s two younger sisters, Jacqueline and Jasmine, had also trained and played or are still training and playing under coach Yee as students as well of Hope Christian High School.
Jem, now 25, was Yee’s protégé from when she was in Grade VI till her graduation from high school before she was recruited by Ateneo and made a name in the UAAP as a setter. Jacqueline, says Jem, stopped playing after high school, while Jasmine, their youngest and who’s now in Grade VII, is on Yee’s Hope Christian squad as a libero.
Having learned more than the basics from master Yee, who also mentors the magnificent UP women’s squad, the Tondo-bred Ferrer finds it a breeze calling the plays for the Perlas Spikers keyed by her fellow Ateneo alumni Carmina Denise Acevedo, Dzi Gervacio, Jorella de Jesus, Mae Tajima and Amy Ahomiro and three of Yee’s brightest Lady Maroons – Kathy Berzola, Nicole Tiamzon and Diana Mae Carlos.
Known for her balanced and intelligent distribution of balls, Jem does not worry the other Perlas attackers from other schools outside of Ateneo and UP.
“She easily grasps instructions and will always remember the kind of sets her spiker particularly likes,” says Perlas teammate Sue Roces formerly of the University of the East Lady Warriors. “Her memory is so sharp that when she reunites with her former spikers on a different team this time, she will remember the kind of sets you prefer.”
In 2015 Roces and Ferrer suited up for PLDT Home Ultera which went on to bag both the V League Open and Reinforced Conference championships.
Along with teammates de Jesus and Rysabelle Devanadera, the two do 8 to 5 p.m. jobs at PLDT from which they can easily take a leave of absence to play for other commercial teams as they do now for Perlas in the inaugural season of the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference, another ambitious event organized by Sports Vision in cooperation with Asics as official league partner and Mikasa as official game ball.
Off the court, Roces describes Ferrer as very friendly.
“Once you made friends with Jem, you won’t give up on her. She’ll always be around for you in good times or bad times.”
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