Gorayeb pleads for stop to online 'bashing' amid increased scrutiny on national team
Coach Roger Gorayeb says the hateful comments online may discourage young players from joining the national team in the future. Dante Peralta

NATIONAL coach Roger Gorayeb has pleaded for a stop to online 'bashing' from fans in the middle of the formation of the Philippine women's volleyball team for the Southeast Asian Games, saying it might discourage players from playing for flag and country.

Gorayeb vented his frustration amid increased scrunity on the selection process for the team bound for Singapore next month, in the wake of speculation that a couple of players have been bumped off the roster or that some stars are being favored over others.

"I-respeto naman nila 'yung player, 'wag nilang bastusin," pleaded Gorayeb at the end of the team's practice on Monday at the Blue Eagle Gym. "Don't hide behind the freedom of speech kasi may hangganan pa rin naman 'yan." 

[See Selection process won't be a popularity contest, assures Gorayeb]

Since the nationals started practice last week, rival fans have lit up social media sites to air their views amid reports that La Salle star Aby Marano and veteran Aiza Maizo-Pontillas have been scratched from the lineup.

Gorayeb himself has come under fire for what fans perceived as 'favoritism.' 

The veteran coach, however, assured on Monday that no one in the current 13-woman pool has been dropped and the final composition of the team won't be announced until Wednesday.

In the meantime, the coach said 'hateful' comments on line aren't helping.

"Paano naman mae-encourage na sumali ang mga batang players sa national team kung puro bash ang aabutin niya," he said, shaking his head.

[See Near-perfect attendance as buildup for SEA Games shifts to high gear]

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