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Triple Crown secured, Gorayeb talks future endeavors



Pambansang head coach, Roger Gorayeb has arguably been the busiest man in volleyball in 2015.

In January, Gorayeb took over the head coaching reins for the National University Lady Bulldogs in the UAAP while still coaching the San Sabastian College – Recoletos Lady Stags, with both squads finishing in their respective league’s Final Four. A few months later, Gorayeb manned the sidelines for the National U23 team and the Seniors SEA Games. He also led a ragtag team of players in an invitational tournament in Vietnam.

Sandwiched between all those endeavors, Gorayeb still found time to coach all of the three championship teams in the Shakey’s V-League’s 12th Season, leading PLDT to the Open Conference title last July and the Reinforced Conference plum just last Sunday, and the NU Lady Bulldogs to Collegiate Conference Gold last October.

Aside from coaching, the former Ateneo mentor is also adept at addressing the media. Gorayeb told reporters after last Sunday’s win that he was doing his best for his team to succeed so his team could remain intact.

SVL-ADMU-vs-NU-G3-Champion-NU“Di ko inisip ‘yung Triple Crown. Inisip ko manalo, para masaya sponsor namin, ‘yung PLDT, para sumali ulit next year. Basta magchampion lang naman. Bonus lang yun, hindi ko nga alam eh (na may Triple Crown na ako). Ay salamat, naka-tatlong championship na pala ako ngayong taon na ito sa Shakey’s,” said Gorayeb.

“Blessing para sa akin kasi palaging nandiyan yung mga bata sa team eh. Si Alyssa (Valdez) nandiyan kahit ano naging problema niya, andiyan siya. Sila (Aiza) Maizo na hiniram ko sa Cagayan. Pati si (Janine) Marciano, tawag ko sa kanya Marcia eh. Maraming salamat sa tiwala ng mga batang yan.”

He then thanked Cagayan head coach Nestor Pamilar for lending him some of Cagayan’s players as Cagayan had not been able to field a team in the Shakey’s V-Leagues’ Third Conference. “Kay Ness  (Pamilar, Cagayan head coach) na nagpahiram ng player sa amin. Sa Army na nabibigyan kami at yung lahat ng volleyball fans ng magandang laro,” he expressed. “Nagpapasalamat ako sa kanilang lahat. Sa mga fans na pumupunta dito, mga magulang ng mga bata, sa mga nanonood sa TV.  Sa liga na ito.”

With the Cagayan Lady Rising Suns not competing in the Reinforced Conference, Gorayeb took the opportunity to “borrow” their two best players. “Nag-usap kami ni Nes. Kung walang team na ifoform si Nes, edi kukunin ko yung dalawa (Maizo and Marciano). Sabi ko kay Nes ‘pare, isasauli ko sayo yan.’ Hiram lang talaga yan.”

Gorayeb then addressed Finals MVP, Alyssa Valdez’s near injury. During Game Two, Valdez’s knee collided with Sue Roces’ head as the reigning UAAP MVP went up for an attack.

SVL Reinforced PLDT vs. Army - Valdez-6562“Nagkataon mas matigas yung ulo ni Kuya (Roces) sa tuhod ni Alyssa,” recalled Gorayeb, who had recruited Valdez to play for Ateneo.“Hindi ako nanenerbyos. Nag-aalala ako. Kasi kung talagang hindi kaya ni Alyssa, wala akong magagawa. Eh nagkaumpugan, masakit eh. Masakit kasi tumama sa ulo ni Kuya. Knowing Alyssa alam mo naman yung batang yan eh, hindi marunong uminda sa sakit. Kaya tinatanong ko lagi kung kaya pa niya. Sabi ko, ‘Ano Ly, kaya mo? Kung hindi mo kaya sabihin mo lang. Wag mong pilitin.’ Kaya naman daw. More than her physical condition, iniisip niya yung kapakanan ng team.”

Gorayeb now shifts his focus to the ongoing NCAA and the much-hyped UAAP, which will kick off in February.

Gorayeb is still unsure if Fil-Japanese Risa Sato, who suited up for the National U23 squad, can play for NU in February. “Hindi ko alam yung eligibility rules, pero naka enroll si Sato ngayon, nag-aaral siya.”

But Gorayeb stated that the performance of his young players in the commercial leagues this year has made him confident for NU’s Season 79 run. “’Yun ‘yung purpose ko kaya pinayagan maglaro doon. Kasi dati hindi pumapayag ‘yung NU na maglaro yung mga bata sa labas. Itong taon na ito nung pumasok ako, kinausap ko yung manager na payagan natin para maiba yung level ng competitiveness nila. Tignan mo si Bia (General) nagmamature ng kaunti yung laro niya at nagkakaroon ng awards.”

He then addressed NU’s lineup changes, stating that one of his two setters from last season, Ivy Perez or Asi Soliven, will sit out Season 79. “Kung ma lineup si Sato magbabawas ako. Meron akong ibang player pero na di pa eligible, nagreresidency pa. Kung ma lineup si Sato pipili ako kung sino mawawala sa kanila. Pasok si Rica Diolan, pasok na pasok yon. Kaya inexpose ko si Rica dito eh. Mahirap mag decide.”


Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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Calvin Abueva, Raymond Almazan cut from pool



SMART Gilas Pilipinas’ third session for the second leg of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers ended early on Monday evening.

Prior to the end of the practice, head coach Chot Reyes talked to team veterans Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, and June Mar Fajardo. The outspoken mentor told the seniors of the team that he is cutting Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan from the pool.

“The reason why we’re dropping Abueva and Almazan for the second window is because they haven’t showed up,” lamented Reyes.

“It’s already our third practice at hindi pa sila nagpapakita. It’s simply a matter of disinterest.

“I guess they’re not interested so we have to move on we can’t wait for those guys,” he pointed out.

Both Abueva and Almazan were part of the teams that competed in the 2017 SEABA Championship, the 2017 FIBA Asia Cup, and the first window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

Only 10 players from the pool showed up for the team’s third session. And with the second leg exactly one month away, Gilas cannot let a slip up happen especially against Australia.

“Aside from those two we don’t know where Matt Wright is, while Allein [Maliksi] is attending a wedding in Australia. Other than that it’s really just an issue of Calvin and Raymond if they don’t want to be a part of the pool.” expressed Reyes.

“That’s the reason we’re dropping them for the second window.”

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2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

23 for 2023 cadets fill up Gilas practice



With just 31 days until the second window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, only 10 players from the pool attended the team’s third session, Monday evening at the Meralco Gym.

Suiting up in the session presided over by Coach Chot Reyes were June Mar Fajardo, Gabe Norwood, Troy Rosario, Jio Jalalon, Mac Belo, Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, and Roger Pogoy. Carl Cruz and Jayson Castro were in attendance but were in street clothes.

Not present were Matthew Wright, Japeth Aguilar, and Allein Maliksi. Calvin Abueva and Raymond Almazan have yet to attend practice.

Joining the seniors team to prep them up for the World Cup Qualifiers were 10 players from the 23 for 2023 pool.

Ateneo Blue Eagle Matt Nieto attended his first Gilas practice. Joining him were teammates Isaac Go and Thirdy Ravena.

Completing the night’s cast were CJ Perez, Abu Tratter, Will Gozum, J-jay Alejandro, Arvin Tolentino, and Juan Gomez de Liano. Joshua Sinclair watched from the sidelines as he is still recovering from an ACL injury.

Gilas will take on Australia in Melbourne on February 22. The Philippine will then host Japan three days later at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

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San Beda fends off Letran for back-to-back wins



With seasoned setter John Carlo Desuyo steering the wheel to near perfection, the San Beda College romped to their second straight win.

The Red Spikers pulled double-digit outings from four players to upend archrival Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights, 19-25, 25-13, 25-21, 25-22, and register their fourth win of the season, Monday early evening at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

It was the Knights, however, who started on the right foot, overhauling a 4-10 deficit to snag the first set. Better passing from liberos Aljune Centeno and Johnsen Timbreza resulted in kills from captain Bobby Gatdula.

Nonetheless, San Beda picked up the service game in the next three sets to ultimately finish off the blue-shirts.

Despite the win-loss record they currently sport, the Red Spiker playmaker admitted that t

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Michael Calisaan tows Che’lu-San Sebastian past Perpetual



Photo by PBA Images

Michael Calisaan poured 20 points as he captained newcomer Che’Lu-San Sebastian Revellers to a decisive 83-70 win over the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas to start their voyage, Monday evening at the Pasig City Sports Center.

Doing it all for the Revellers, the veteran forward provided the stability for his side as he shot 8-of-15 from the field while also hauling down nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals in the conference-opening win.

But it wasn’t all Calisaan as Che’Lu got contributions from all over its roster.

Samboy de Leon chimed in 16 markers and nine boards. RK Ilagan went 2-of-5 from threes to collect 13 points, eight dimes, and three rebounds, while big men Alfred Batino and Jeepy Faundo combined for 20 in the victory.

Despite the triumph, coach Stevenson Tiu gave all the praise to his players, noting the team’s lack of time preparing for the tourney.

“Nanalo kami dahil sa talent ng players. Medyo mali ko rin kasi nahirapan pa ako mag-adjust sa players. Hopefully, we play much better in the coming games,” he said.

The Revellers used a 16-4 run to finally break away from the Altas, taking a 77-60 lead with 4:03 to play as they punished their foes for their turnovers, turning Perpetual’s 30 miscues to 28 points in their favor.

Prince Eze anchored the Altas with 15 points, 11 rebounds, and seven blocks in their first game under new head coach Frankie Lim.

Che’lu-San Sebastian look to make it two in a row when they take on the Wangs-Letran Couriers on Monday, January 29 at 5:00pm. Perpetual, on the other hand, hope they can notch their first win when they take on Mila’s Lechon Mighty Roasters.

The Scores:

Che’lu-SSCR 83 — Calisaan 20, De Leon 16, Ilagan 13, Batino 10, Faundo 10, Bulanadi 6, Costelo 6, Calma 2, David 0, Lao 0, Santos 0, Valdez 0.

UPHSD 70 — Eze 15, Coronel 13, Villanueva 13, Jimenez 9, Charcos 7, Peralta 7, Gallardo 5, Pido 1, Antonio 0, Aurin 0, Tamayo 0, Tongco 0.

Quarterscores: 17-22, 34-38, 59-53, 83-70.

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