Gorayeb cautions Lady Bulldogs not to be swayed by online comments, keep focus on Final Four quest
Roger Gorayeb wants his wards to remain focused on their Final Four push. Dante Peralta

NATIONAL University coach Roger Gorayeb warns his wards not to get too affected with their fans’ comments and focus instead on their push for the Final Four of the UAAP Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament.

The Lady Bulldogs are currently at the sixth spot with an even 6-6 card and they need to win their last two matches in the elimination round against University of Santo Tomas (5-7) and semifinalist La Salle (9-2) on April 13 to make it to the semis.

But the veteran mentor is wary of his players’ unstable emotions after they read comments or messages from fans, be it positive or negative, especially on the social media.

“‘Yung mga bata kasi they use social media a lot [at] naaapektuhan sila,” he said. “Sabi ko nga sa kanila, ‘yung fans ninyo kasi slowly waning eh, nawawala na sila’. Eh alam mo naman ang mga bata minsan naaapektuhan sila ng fans nila, ng mga sinasabi ng mga fans nila.”

“‘Yung mga cheer-cheer na ‘yan, ‘di na nakakaapekto sa atin ‘yan. What affects us most is what’s happening to our team, we’re going down. Eh sabi ko we have to win these (remaining) games,” he added.

After an emphatic win over La Salle in the first round, NU struggled as it absorbed three-consecutive losses and have been inconsistent in the second round of elimination.

Gorayeb, however, urged his team to stay together and not concentrate on what they read or hear.

“Sabi ko, ‘you have to stay strong together, ano man ang sabihin ng fans ninyo,” he said. “(Kasi) nawala na ang fans natin eh so ngayon makikita mo kung sino talaga ‘yung mga loyal sa kanila. So kailangan from there mag-start ulit kami start from scratch, go back to the basics.”

As much as he wants to control the players’ use of social media as it distracts their focus on the game, the multi-titled mentor admitted he can only do so much.

After their straight-set win over University of the Philippines on Wednesday, Gorayeb was quite sure that his wards got elated over good comments but he said there’s no plan to stop the players from using social media.

“Alam mo, kahit anong ipatigil ang gawin mo dyan, hindi mo naman mababantayan ‘yan ng 24 hours, it’s up to them to control ‘yung kanilang paggamit ng social media,” he said.

“Right now sabi ko nga I think may magtetext sa kanila congratulations, mae-elate na naman ‘yang mga ‘yan. ‘Yun [reaction na lang nila] ang kino-control ko,” he added. “Hindi ‘yun ang makakapanalo sa amin, makaka-encourage lang.”


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