NO libero, no problem.
National University coach Roger Gorayeb dug into his bag of old tricks on Sunday, fielding a team without a libero when the Lady Bulldogs completed a four-set win over University of the East in the UAAP Season 79 women's volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
Obviously unhappy with the play of liberos Gayle Valdez and Joni Chavez, the veteran Gorayeb fielded six offensive players similar to the old days before liberos were introduced in the game at around the same time the rally point system came into play 19 years ago.
“Hindi ko na alam, nanonood naman kayo, ever since naman ganyan sila. Wala,” Gorayeb said, making no effort to hide his displeasure over the play of his liberos.
The ploy worked as NU, rebounding swiftly from a third-set loss, completed the 25-15, 25-21, 22-25, 25-21 win over the Lady Warriors with a six led by middle blockers Jaja Santiago and Risa Sato.
NU had 15 excellent receptions from 79 attempts in the game, although no one was credited with those numbers.
Later, Gorayeb was still seething over her two defensive specialists.
“Sabi ko nga doon sa libero ko kanina, maka-depensa lang kasi kayo ng dalawa o tatlong beses ng maganda tapos eh kulang na lang ipamalita niyo ‘yun eh, hindi naman uubra na ganun,” he said.
The multi-titled coach later reminded his liberos on their role in the team.
“Sabi ko nga sa kanila, obligasyon niyo dumepensa ng isang libong beses, hindi ‘yung isa o dalawang beses kasi walang trabaho ang libero kundi dumepensa,” he said.
“Hindi siya pumapalo, hindi siya sume-service so araw-araw ‘yun lang ang trabaho niya,” he added. “Kasi kaya ka nagli-libero para makapag-pahinga ang gitna, plus makatulong sa depensa.
"‘Yun lang naman ang trabaho ‘di ko alam bakit sila erratic.”