NU Lady Bulldogs libero Gayle Valdez eager to regain coach Roger Gorayeb trust
NU libero Gayle Valdez was given a run-out late in a win over Ateneo. Jaime Campos

NATIONAL University libero Gayle Valdez is eager to earn her stripes anew after finally seeing some playing time in a crucial win over Ateneo in the UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament on Wednesday.

The fourth year defense specialist and her fellow libero Joni Chavez were slapped with a ‘silent suspension’ by head coach Roger Gorayeb in their previous games.

Out of frustration, the veteran mentor opted not to field his two liberos in the fourth set of their match against University of the East on Sunday and continued to do the same at the start of their win over the Lady Eagles, 17-25, 25-23, 22-25, 25-21, 15-13, on Wednesday.

“Sabi ko sa kanila mag-isip kayo ng maigi, eh nag-practice kami talaga ng ganyan para sa team namin na walang libero, si Jaja (santiago) pinaba-back line na namin, wala nang alisan ‘yan,” said Gorayeb.

[See NU wins five-set thriller to end Ateneo win streak at eight]

The veteran mentor, however, felt the need to use Valdez sparingly in the fourth set and in the entire fifth set. And the move paid off.

“Pero noong huli medyo critical so ano na muna syempre ang main concern ko ‘yung team eh. So gamitin ng bahagya (ang libero) kasi ang lamang namin nauubos lang sa misreceive eh,” said Gorayeb. 

Valdez said she has learned her lesson the hard way and she’s not about to waste the opportunity given to her.

“Siyempre po pag pinasok ulit kami, kailangan gawin namin yung pinaka-best namin kasi kailangang-kailangan kami ng team,” said Valdez, who had six digs in the match that took two hours and six minutes.

“Kailangan po talaga namin mag-step up para makatulong sa team, 'yun yung pinaka-lesson para makita namin kung gaano kaimportante yung roles namin,” she added.

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