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UP’s Isa Molde, Marist Layug join PLDT

PLDT Home Fibr unveiled two more additions to its roster, Saturday.

Joining the rebuilding Power Hitters for the upcoming 2021 volleyball season are University of the Philippines stalwarts Isa Molde and Marist Layug.

But before signing them, PLDT Home Fibr head coach Roger Gorayeb and team manager Bajjie Del Rosario made sure to clear it up with the Lady Maroons brass first. UP gave PLDT their full blessing to sign them.

“Nakausap namin ni Sir Bajjie ‘yung adviser nila na si Direk [Mandy Reyes]. Sinabi naman sa amin na bibigyan na nila ng chance ‘yung dalawa na tignan na kung ano ang makakabuti sa kanilang career,” said Gorayeb, who owns 39 NCAA championships and is just one of two triple crown coaches in the V-League.

“Masaya na sila sa nabigay ni Isa at Marist sa four years nila sa UP – sa exposure at mga naibigay nila sa programa.”

With the signing, both Molde, 22, and Layug, also 22, have foregone their eligibility in the University Atletic Association of the Philippines. Both are in their final semesters as students in UP.

Molde, a 5-foot-7 outside hitter from Catmon, Cebu, was the top rookie for UAAP Season 78. Her biggest individual achievement happened in 2018 when she won both Conference and Finals MVP during the 2018 PVL Collegiate Conference.

Molde also played for Foton and Motolite.

“Si Isa, outside hitter ‘yan eh. Malaking bagay ‘yung exposure niya sa UP at sa mga nalaruan niya na teams. Malaki ang madadala niya sa team natin,” Gorayeb said about his expectations for Molde.

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On the other hand, Gorayeb has long sought Layug, a 6-foot blocker from Quezon City. How long? Well, he wanted to recruit Layug to National University after her stint with King’s Montessori.

“Si Marist kasi nung nasa NU na ako, isa ‘yan sa mga gusto kong kunin. Kaso hindi kami nagkaroon ng chance na makausap siya kasi ibang tao ang kumausap sa kanya that time. Sabi na lang niya sa akin na mag-UP na siya,” shared Gorayeb.

“At least ngayon, makakapagsama na kami.”

Layug was also part of Motolite last year.

Molde and Layug join Eli Soyud, Chin Basas, Yeye Gabarda, and Nieza Viray as the newest acquisitions of PLDT.

“Malaki ‘yung nakikita kong future nila kasi excited akong ma-coach sila. Excited akong mabigyan ng ibang style of play, something new for them,” expressed Gorayeb, as he awaits the go-signal for the resumption of volleyball training.

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