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    Fuming Soltones holds no punches as she rips at teammates in pre-Game 3 wake-up call

    Jan 27, 2016
    Gretcel Soltones is happy her words didn't fall on deaf ears as she got the much-needed support from teammates in a 25-22, 25-19, 26-28, 25-23 victory over the Lady Blazers. Jaime Campos

    SAN Sebastian skipper Gretcel Soltones admitted giving her teammates a dressing down in an emotional team meeting ahead of Game Three of the NCAA women's volleyball finals.

    The Recto-based squad, which entered the title series with a thrice-to-beat advantage after a 9-0 sweep of the eliminations, found itself on the brink of losing the championship to College of St. Benilde after dropping Games One and Two.

    In a bid to wake up her teammates from their stupor, Soltones admitted she didn't hold any punches in a heart-to-heart talk two days before the make-or-break game on Tuesday.

    “Kinausap ko sila sa rooftop, sa pinakatuktok ng Baste," said Soltones. "Doon kami naglabasan ng kung anong gusto naming sabihin. That time, parang susuko na ako kasi siyempre kahit ano pang sabihin ng tao, ang pangit namang tingnan na one-woman show lang di ba? Team effort ‘yan e.

    "Parang nag-training lang kami that time tapos after noon, pinagmumura ko sila. Mahilig talaga akong magmura once na gusto kong (iparating) ang isang bagay. Iniisa-isa ko sila. Naging okay naman ang usapan namin.

    “Sinabi ko sa kanila na, 'Bakit hindi niyo gawin na ilagay ang mga pangalan niyo sa newspaper at huwag lang 'yung sa akin at kay (libero Alyssa) Eroa?' Nanggaling naman ako sa posisyon niyo dati na bawat palo kinakabahan, gawin niyo na lang dapat n’yong gawin and mag-enjoy na lang tayo,'” the 20-year-old added.

    [See Questions linger but Soltones feels unburdened after reunion with mom]

    The outspoken skipper shared she could no longer hold back the feelings long bottled up inside of her.

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    "Talagang hindi ko na kaya ang pinaggagawa ng iba and I challenged them,” she said. “Sabi ko, hindi naman ako nagbubuhat ng sarili kong bangko pero hindi ako ganito maglaro kung hindi ako naghirap noong una."

    "Hindi naman ako magaling like Ate Alyssa (Valdez), idol ko 'yun. Sa koponan namin ako lang ang mas nagi-step up. Sabi ko, 'Bakit hindi niyo kaya mag-step up for the team? Kasi nahihirapan na rin ako.' Ako gustong manalo, e paano yung iba,” she added.

    Rallying her teammates, Soltones urged them to step up not only for themselves but for their supporters and most especially for coach Roger Gorayeb, who absorbs all the criticisms from their losses.

    "’Yung scholarship na ibinibigay ng Baste, suklian naman natin sila, 'yung mga supporters natin lalong lalo na si coach Roger, kasi sa kanya nagre-reflect lahat ng mga laro namin,” she said.

    “Siyempre kami ang nasa court pero siya ang nasisisi sa lahat, ang hirap noon eh. Saka ang laki na ring pressure kay coach Roger, na 9-0 (sa elims) tapos 2-0 sa Finals, ano yun?”

    The Catmon, Cebu native was happy that her words didn't fall on deaf ears as she got the much-needed support from teammates in a 25-22, 25-19, 26-28, 25-23 victory over the Lady Blazers that sent the title series to a winner-take-all Game 4 on Thursday.

    Now Soltones is hoping all the lessons the Lady Stags learned the first three games can translate into a good performance in the do-or-die match.

    “Siguro naman may napulot sila na lessons sa previous games namin," she said. "Parang tatanga-tanga kami no? Tanga kami kasi hindi namin magawa ang dapat na gawin namin as a team kasi kanya-kanya kami eh. Tapos ang bola kapag drop ball wala, eh 'di tanga!”

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    Gretcel Soltones is happy her words didn't fall on deaf ears as she got the much-needed support from teammates in a 25-22, 25-19, 26-28, 25-23 victory over the Lady Blazers. Jaime Campos
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