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Gorayeb likens PLDT to early Fab 5-era Ateneo: ‘Puro bata kami’

BACARRA, ILOCOS NORTE — PLDT coach Roger Gorayeb is keeping his faith in the young Power Hitters squad, which received its third consecutive loss in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference against Choco Mucho, Wednesday night. 

After two lopsided losses against Chery Tiggo and Sta. Lucia, PLDT brought out the fight against a tall Flying Titans squad. They eventually lost gas in the fourth set, though, which resulted in  a 26-28, 25-10, 25-27, 11-25 loss.

Still, Gorayeb liked what he saw from the Power Hitters squad — which has an average age of just 24.4 years. Rhea Dimaculangan is the oldest at 30 years old.

Ito kasi talaga ‘yung laro na gusto kong makita sa kanila eh. Ang tagal lumabas eh. Sa practice maayos, pagdating sa laro nag-iiba. Wala kasi kaming talagang go-to guy. Talagang kailangan namin ang isa’t isa para makabuo kami ng magandang [set],” expressed Gorayeb.

“Kanina ang ganda nung team work, ‘yung first set dikitan, nag-deuce, second set lamang, third set lamang pa kami 22 to 18. Kaya lang nung sunod biglang nanlata, sunod-sunod ‘yung error.”

The lack of a go-to hitter has also been a problem for PLDT. Fortunately, potential candidates in Isa Molde and Jorelle Singh have recently emerged for Gorayeb. The two tallied 19 points apiece in the loss to Choco Mucho.

But compared to their straight-set losses to Chery Tiggo and Sta. Lucia, Gorayeb saw a semblance of fight in his wards.

2021-PVL-Open-PLDT-vs-Choco-Mucho-Isa-Molde-x-Joyce-Sta-Rita-x-Rhea-Dimaculangan Gorayeb likens PLDT to early Fab 5-era Ateneo: 'Puro bata kami' News PVL Volleyball  - philippine sports news

Pero at least ngayon hindi katulad nung ibang laro namin, e sila kasi matagal na ‘yan e. Pero hindi namin puwedeng gawing excuse yung matagal na sila, kami bago lang two months pa lang kami. Hindi namin puwedeng gawing excuse yun dahil dati namang mga player ‘to e nagkasama sama lang sa isang team,” shared the V-League’s only triple crown champion coach.

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“Ako, pipilitin ko pa rin silang i-guide para yung maturity sa laro madala namin. Pero ngayon pa ‘man, maganda yung nakikita ko sa mga batang ito. Need lang talagang mag flawless yung kanilang mga movement, makukuha lang namin ‘yan sa practice sa experience, pero napakahirap na process itong nangyayari sa amin. Kasi doon namin kukunin sa experience e, natatalo kami doon kaya as soon as possible maganda na, maganda na yung laro na nakikita [ko],” the decorated NCAA champion coach opined.

“Natalo kami pero hindi naman yung talagang full-blown na talo. Kailangan mag practice pa rin kami nang mag practice.”

This squad, according to Gorayeb, will have to go through this long, excruciating process to be able to be the best team that they could be. So, despite the painful results, Gorayeb is trusting the process on this one.

After all, he likened this PLDT squad to a youthful team he coached back in the late 2000s.

“Naalala mo nung araw nung nag umpisa ako sa Ateneo? Hindi kami pumasok nung first year namin, [puro] talo kami pero puro limang sets. Kasi puro bata e, limang batang player ‘yon e. But the following year, pasok na kami sa top four,” Gorayeb recalled as his 2008 team was headlined by rookies Fille Cainglet, Jem Ferrer, Dzi Gervacio, Gretchen Ho, and A Nacachi.

“Yun ang nakikita ko sa grupong ito, pero kailangan pa rin naming mag inject siguro ng may experience kasi ang ate dito si Rhea, so si Rhea lahat. Pero maganda naman yung nakita ko ngayon hindi katulad nung nakaraang laro, still natalo kami. Hindi namin gagamitin yun para masira yung loob namin, kailangan lumaro pa kami ng more than that,” he continued.

“Sabi ko nga sa kanila kanina you have to go the extra mile, hindi pupuwedeng hanggang dito lang tayo, dagdagan lang namin yung effort namin.”

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