PLDT may have suffered its third straight loss of the conference, but coach Roger Gorayeb is positive the situation can only get better for the team.
On Wednesday night, PLDT fell to Choco Mucho's impressive debut, routed in five sets, 28-26, 10-25, 27-25, 25-11, and further dimming their chances in the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference Semifinals.
This is already the team’s third consecutive defeat, after an opening loss to Chery Tiggo, and then to Sta. Lucia earlier in the week.
A disheartening result, especially for the team's scoring trio of Isa Molde, Jorelle Singh, and Chin Basas. But for them, there’s no way to go but up — even if it takes time.
“Sobrang nakakahinayang kasi batang-bata ‘yung team itself. Kailan lang kami nagkasama-sama, May or June? Pero ito ‘yung laro na gusto kong makita sa kanila eh. Talo kami pero hindi ‘yung full-blown na talo,” Gorayeb shared.
The seasoned mentor emphasized that in his very young core, he needs the entire team to function.
“Wala kaming go-to player, kailangan namin ‘yung isa’t isa para makabuo kami ng magandang game,” he said. “Pero hindi excuse ‘yan, dahil dati na ring players ‘to, nagkasama-sama lang sa isang team.”
And though it may take quite a while for them to take on the much-needed on-court maturity, his hopes remain high.
“Maganda ‘yung nakikita kong future sa mga batang ito, need lang talaga maging flawless ‘yung kanilang movement, ‘yun lang talaga ang kailangan na makukuha lang naming sa practice at experience,” he said.
Roger Gorayeb recalls storied Ateneo team
Gorayeb compared the team to that of his former Ateneo Lady Eagles squad back in UAAP Season 70, which paved the way for a competitive volleyball culture in Katipunan.
“Naalala niyo ‘nung araw, ‘nung nag-umpisa ako sa Ateneo, di kami pumasok ng first year namin, talo kami lahat. Pero lahat limang set. Puro kami bata eh, limang bata, but the following year, pasok na kami sa top four,” he said. “‘Ganon ‘yung nakikita ko sa grupong ‘to, pero kailangan pa rin naming mag-inject ng may experience.”
From there, Gorayeb was appointed head coach and he started building the team from scratch, recruiting Palarong Pambansa standouts like Dzi Gervacio and Fille Cainglet-Cayetano among others.
The following collegiate season, AWVT finished third place.
“Kailangan naming dumaan sa ganitong process. Hindi naming gagamitin ‘yung talo para masira, hindi pwedeng hanggang dito lang tayo,” he added.
It's something he knows that his current team will take to heart.
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