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Gorayeb returns to the sidelines, gives fair assessment of his team



Since he no longer has two teams participating in the tournament, Roger Gorayeb manned the sidelines for his NU Lady Bulldogs for the first time in the Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference in their triumph against the DLSU-D Lady Pats.

“Nagpahinga lang ako sandali. Monday to Sunday ang volleyball sa buhay ko,” said Gorayeb in the post-game presser. “Maganda naman ‘yung pagkakahandle ni Edjet (Mabbayad) sa team. Parang ayoko na sana bumalik,” Gorageb jokingly added as he emphasized his gratitude for the way his coaching staff handled the team in his absence.

But Gorayeb, ever the perfectionist, still sees a lot of things his team needs to improve to better their chances not only in this tournament but for the UAAP. The former Ateneo head coach had a few teaching moments with his rookie setter during the match. Coach Roger has a reputation for being a bit tough on his setters (see Jem Ferrer) but his methods have produced multiple UAAP Best Setter awards.

In Diolan, Gorayeb sees the makings of a great setter, a great sign for NU fans who have longed for a decent setter to complement their array of attackers. However, Diolan is fresh out of High School. Despite being the undisputed best setter in her time as a Bullpup, Diolan still has to configure her game to the faster paced college-style.

“Rookie pa eh, kaya may mga bagay pa talaga na kailangan niya matutunan at macorrect,” Gorayeb said of his starting setter. “Kahit may mga malakas o matangkad siyang kakampi noong high school, hindi naman kasing laki ni Jaja (Santiago) ‘yung mga ‘yun o kasing lakas nila Myla (Pablo). May mga mabababa pa rin siyang mga set at saka hindi pa gaanon ka solido ‘yung selection niya ng attacker. Kailangan niya lang maexpose saka makalaro pa. Malaki ‘yung potential ‘nung bata.”

Another problem Gorayeb forsees is the second middle blocker spot behind Jaja. Last season, Desiree Dadang was a stable presence at the net but she exhausted her playing years and there aren’t any apparent replacements on his roster yet. Currently, the Lady Bulldogs have Dindin Manabat to fill in as a guest but coach Roger recognizes that Dindin won’t be there for the UAAP and his team fate may as well come down to developing Roselyn Doria.

“Ang problema kasi kapag matagal na sa team, mahirap na I-correct ‘yung mga na-develop nilang bad habits bago ako dumating sa team di tulad ng sa rookie, fresh pa, mas madaling turuan,” Gorayeb expressed pertaining to his attempt at developing Doria. “Ngayon na lang, sinusubukan ko na ipasok kapag pwede para makakuha ng experience.”

On the other hand, Coach Roger was mightily impressed with the blistering play of second-year open hitter Jorelle Singh. “Ang ganda ng nilalaro ni Jorelle. Magaganda na ‘yung mga palo. She’s becoming a very reliable scorer,” Gorayeb gushed.

When it comes to Singh’s stodgy built, Gorayeb said that his wing spiker has been dieting really hard to cut a few pounds. However, it seems that Jorelle’s body doesn’t want to cooperate. “Minsan hindi na kumakaen, tumataba pa ‘rin. May mga ganyan talagang mga katawan ng tao. Patitignan na lang namin sa endocrinologist. “


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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