Gorayeb motivates Lady Stags ahead of must-win match: 'Nothing beats school pride'
SSC coach Roger Gorayeb is drawing from experience as he tries to revive the Lady Stags' fortunes in the NCAA finals. Jerome Ascano

SAN Sebastian coach Roger Gorayeb dug deep to motivate his players ahead of a must-win game against Arellano in the NCAA Season 92 women’s volleyball tournament on Tuesday.

SSC, which holds a thrice-to-beat advantage in the Finals series, is now on the brink of being swept by AU but the veteran mentor is not about to give up ahead of the 4 p.m. face-off at the PhilSports Arena.

Gorayeb is drawing from his experience as playing coach for the SSC men’s volleyball team where he won one title and reminded his wards that there’s no greater joy and pride for a student-athlete than to win a championship in their collegiate career.

“Ako naman sinasabi ko na wala nang mas ikasasaya pa ang isang player kundi mag-champion,” said the 57-year-old coach, who began his coaching career way back in 1984 in handling the men’s, women’s and juniors’ squads of San Sebastian.

The former national mentor now has 22 NCAA titles under his belt, but he shared that nothing beats winning one on the playing court — which is why he pushes hard for his wards to experience the same joy he felt when he made history for his alma mater.

“Ako naglaro ako noon, isang championship lang kami pero hanggang ngayon chine-cherish namin ‘yun,” said Gorayeb, whose team defeated Letran in a match that took more than three hours to finish because of the side out rule.

“Sabi ko nga, makuha mo na lahat ng MVP, makuha mo na lahat ng championship sa labas na liga, iba pa rin ang collegiate mo eh, kasi andoon ang pride eh,” he added.

In this era when players get huge paychecks from club teams, Gorayeb stressed that nothing still compares to that one trophy that his wards can treasure for the rest of their lives.

“Iba ang collegiate (championsip) kasi 50 years from now ‘yan pa rin ang pagkukwentuhan niyo kung buhay pa ang mga kakampi mo,” he said. “Parang kami (ng mga teammates ko dati) hindi na namin pinagkukwentuhan kung saan saan pa kami naglaro dati, doon lang sa collegiate.”

“Pinagku-kwentuhan namin ‘yung isang kasama namin, dala nang dala ng santo, nagdadasal doon sa gilid. Nakakatuwa lang na alalahanin na sana ma-experience din nila,” he added. 

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