Reloading for the 2021 volleyball season, PLDT Home Fibr picked up four players from the free agency pool.
The Power Hitters unveiled through its official Facebook page their new additions – namely former Generika-Ayala players Eli Soyud, Chin Basas, and Yeye Gabarda, along with San Beda product Nieza Viray.
For PLDT Home Fibr head coach Roger Gorayeb, getting Soyud, Basas, and Gabarda will hasten the team’s rebuilding as the troika already have experience playing together.
“Malaking bagay ‘yan kasi ‘yung experience nila, malaking maitutulong sa atin. Sa mga pinanggalingan nila na team, nagagamit sila at malaki ‘yung nakuha nila na exposure noon,” shared Gorayeb, who owns 39 NCAA championships and is just one of two triple crown coaches in the V-League.
“Sana mabitbit nila ‘yun sa amin, talagang mafi-fill nila ‘yung gap ng nawala sa amin. Plus malaki pa sila at bata pa sila.”
Soyud, 25, is a 5-foot-10 opposite hitter out of Cagayan de Oro and is a product of Adamson University. She played for Motolite in 2019 before transferring to Generika-Ayala in 2020.
Basas, 24, is another opposite hitter who stands at 5-foot-8. The former Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraw also played for Sta. Lucia and Petron prior.
Gabarda, 22, is a 5-foot-10 blocker. By joining PLDT, this means that the native of Tacloban has foregone her UAAP eligibility with University of the East. She still had one playing year left.
Completing the cast is 21-year-old Viray, who previously played for Foton in 2018 and Chef’s Classics in 2019.
Gorayeb sees Viray, a 5-foot-5 beach volleyball star from Pangasinan, as a project, planning to turn her from a spiker to a libero.
“Gustong-gusto ko ‘yung mga player na may gustong patunayan. Maganda naman ‘yung paglalaro niya sa beach volleyball, lalo sa receive. Bibigyan ko siya ng chance na maging isang libero,” revealed Gorayeb about the two-time NCAA Women’s Beach Volleyball MVP.
“Madami na tayong nagawang player na ganiyan. Si Denden Lazaro hindi naman libero dati. Si Jasmine Nabor hindi rin naman setter dati. Kanya-kanya kasi ‘yung mga gut-feel namin. Bibigyan mo sila ng bagong role na excited sila ma-accomplish.”
Viray can still play her final year with San Beda, as the NCAA allows their student-athletes to avail themselves of the Games and Amusements Board’s special guest license.
The last time the Power Hitters saw action was during the 2020 PSL Grand Prix. PLDT had a 0-3 record before the season’s cancellation due to the coronavirus pandemic.