As the loyal soldier that he is, Roger Gorayeb would prefer to stay put with PLDT Home Fibr if he had his way.
For the decorated bench tactician, he feels like there remains more to accomplish with the High Speed Hitters.
“Happy na ako pero, marami pa sanang pwedeng gawin,” he said during a guest appearance in Radyo5’s Power and Play, Saturday.
The 60-year-old parted ways with the ball club earlier this week as he was no longer renewed, ending his tenure as head coach after eight years.
Yes. Eight years. That’s how long their partnership had lasted. And that kind of loyalty is something that Gorayeb very much takes pride in.
“Ako na lang ata ‘yung coach na hindi lumilipat ng team eh,” he quipped with a grin. “Dahil ‘yung ibang coaches, naglilipatan, ako na lang ‘yung ganyan. Anyway nakita niyo naman .. hindi naman ako mahilig maglili-lipat eh.
“Kaya kung mapapansin mo, maski sa coaching ko sa San Sebastian, napakatagal ko. Nung nasa Ateneo ako, limang taon ang binigay ko sa kanila. Nung nasa NU ako, nag-stay din ako doon,” he continued.
“Hindi ko ugali e. Kumbaga, ‘yung personalidad ko, siguro bilang long-time coach na rin, ‘yung loyalty nasa katawan ko, nasa dugo ko.”
Still, Gorayeb fully understands that it’s all part of the business. And he has nothing but gratitude to the team that he helped build.
“Kami namang mga coaches, nandyan naman kami hangga’t kailangan kami. May ibang direksyon silang gustong mangyari, wala naman tayong magagawa roon e,” said the former national team coach.
“Ako lang, very proud lang ako na nakapag-serbisyo ako sa kanila for the longest time,” added Gorayeb, who started with PLDT in 2013 when he was hired to man its sidelines for the MVP Olympics.
Gorayeb steered PLDT to two V-League championships in 2015, ruling the Open and Reinforced conferences with a star-studded team that featured Alyssa Valdez, Jaja Santiago, and Gretchel Soltones, to name a few.
And that kind of success is what made his stay with the franchise even more memorable. “Napakaraming memories, ano. Eight years ‘yan na walang katapusang maligayang alaala,” he said.
But more than the highs and the lows, it is the relationships he built with the many Power Hitters he’s mentored that Gorayeb will forever cherish.
“Kasi nakapag-build ka ng relationships not just with the management ng PLDT but also with the players involved. Sa dami ng umikot na player diyan, maski sa mga import, hanggang ngayon connected pa rin ako sa kanila,” he said.
“Mararamdaman mo pa rin ‘yung pagmamahal nila sa’kin. Lalo na ‘yung mga naunang players, hanggang ngayon nandiyan pa rin sila. Nung nagkasakit ako, nandiyan din sila. Marami eh.”