Roger Gorayeb has many hats. Sometimes he even wears more than one at a time. But, for the Shakey’s V-League, he thought it was best if he wore none.
Aside from manning the sidelines for the Women’s National Team multiple times, coach Roger also handles the Women’s programs of both the National University Lady Bulldogs and the San Sebastian College – Recoletos. For most of the year, Gorayeb is fine with shuffling back and forth since his teams participate in separate collegiate leagues – NU in the UAAP and SSC in the NCAA.
But in the Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference, Gorayeb found himself in quite a quandary. With both SSC and NU participating in the tournament, the former Ateneo mentor decided that he will take a step back and let his assistant coach for each respective team call the shots during games to avoid any conflict. He does still, however, head both team’s daily practices.
“Sa umaga, training sa San Sebastian then sa hapon punta naman sa NU, sila naman mageensayo. Kayang kaya ko pa naman. Mahirap pero masaya,” the PLDT coach said.
NU and SSC have been on opposite ends of the spectrum in the SVL tournament. With their plethora of veterans hardened by National Team experience and a crop of promising rookies, the Lady Bulldogs barely had any trouble steamrolling through their competition in Group A. On the other hand, SSC is fighting for their lives in Group B with their best player, Gretchel Soltones relegated to playing Libero to lessen the strain on her injured shoulder.
Gorayed says that he has been in this best-of-time-worst-of-times situation before with two teams just a few years back when he coached both SSC and Ateneo. “Parang dati lang nung nagcoach ako ng Ateneo. ‘Yung Baste malakas, tapos ‘yung Ateneo pasimula pa lang. Ngayon kasi karamihan ng mga bata, gusto maglaro sa UAAP,” he said of his SSC lineup that has been struggling to find an identity without Soltones flying around the net. “Ganyan talaga ang buhay sa volleyball, hindi pwedeng laging nasa taas, bababa ka rin minsan.”
When asked how he’ll prepare his team if they face each other later in the tournament, the National Team head coach admitted that he was more focused on getting SSC into the Top 8 and has not really given the potential NU-SSC match much thought yet.
“Importante na makapasok pa rin kami. Nandiyan na [yoong opportunity] bakit hindi pa namin kunin? Maganda rin ‘yun para sa confidence ng mga bata heading into the season,” Gorayeb remarked.
SSC is in a triple tie with DLSU-D, and TIP in the fourth spot in Group B. To ensure their spot, SSC will need to defeat the UST Tigresses in their match tomorrow.