Referee Gorayeb blows whistle on Ravena-Valdez 'love affair' in charity match
Coach turned referee Roger Gorayeb lets his hair down during the Fastbr3ak charity volleyball match organized by former player Alyssa Valdez and Kiefer Ravena. Jerome Ascano

THE usually stern coach Roger Gorayeb showed his funny side on Wednesday by acting as referee in the 'Fastbr3ak' charity volleyball game organized by former player Alyssa Valdez at The Arena in San Juan.

The veteran mentor added a funny twist to the event which Valdez co-organized with basketball star Kiefer Ravena with his outrageous calls while mocking the players especially Valdez and Ravena during the entire match.

 “Tarantado ‘yung referee na ‘yun,” said a poker-faced Gorayeb after the match, obviously referring to himself.

Gorayeb wore a red shirt similar to Team Alyssa's in the first two sets before putting on in the third set a Team Ravena green shirt that was folded up to his stomach, just to show he was not biased.

The crowd laughed its hearts out for every Gorayeb wrong call – done on purpose, of course – especially during the time when he tried to bring the match to a third and deciding set, at times openly 'arguing' with the players.

[See Ravena, Valdez, friends raise P500K for typhoon victims through charity volleyball match]

In one instance,  Gorayeb instructed Valdez to kiss Ravena on the prodding of  the crowd in attendance after the Ateneo cage star, acting as if he was hurt, was hit by the ball following a Valdez spike.

Gorayeb said it was all for good fun.

“Bago nag-start ‘yung laro gusto lang namin masaya, hindi naman ito seryosong laro eh kaya nagusap-usap kami. Sabi ko ako na bahala, buti nga may nanalo eh,” he said about the match which Team Alyssa won, 22-25, 25-21, 30-28.

“Eh dati naman ginagawa ko na ‘yan (pagre-referee), hindi ko lang kina-career. Eh ngayon naman kasi katuwaan lang, biru-biruan lang, naghaharutan lang, para masaya lang ang mga tao,” he added.

“Nakakatuwa, nakita nila ang lighter side namin. Sabi nga sa akin ni (former Ateneo player) Gretchen (Ho), ‘Coach, ang harot mo, dapat gumawa ka ng gag show,’” Gorayeb shared.

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But kidding aside, Gorayeb was proud to see Valdez, his so-called ‘adopted daughter,’ come up with such a meaningful event aimed to raise funds for those affected by Typhoon Nona.

“Si Alyssa ever since marami ‘yan may ginagawang mga tulong. Ito lang ‘yung na-publicize. Oo naman (proud ako as a coach) eh humble pa rin ‘yung bata eh, pag pinatawag niya ako syempre (pupunta ako), anak ko ‘yan eh,” he said. 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @meilinlozada