NATIONAL coach Roger Gorayeb hit back at his detractors on Wednesday as he rued the absence of several players from the Philippine women's volleyball team's practice that forced the postponement of the announcement of the final lineup for the Southeast Asian Games.
Only eight players - Alyssa Valdez, Jaja Santiago, Gretcel Soltones, Jia Morado, Rhea Dimaculangan, Maika Ortiz, Bea de Leon and Denden Lazaro - showed up at the Blue Eagle gym for the practice of a team that has come under increased scrutiny amid the suspense over the team's final composition.
That would've ended on Wednesday with the announcement to be done by Gorayeb, but the absence of five members of the 13-woman pool left the national coach no choice but to pass on the task to Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas (LVPI) president Joey Romasanta.
They Said It!
“Forget about Daquis, Gonzaga, Manabat, Maizo and Marano. They think they are important and better than others. All their talk that they want to represent the country, but they cannot toe the line and practice with the other aspirants is BS. It would be better if the Philippines (LVP) develops a pool of talents who are willing to play for the country and commit their time to practice and gel with the team. These 5 players are not worth the attention." -- stingberry
On when that would be, Gorayeb said he doesn't know.
"Hindi ko alam kung kailan ilalabas, sina Sir Joey na ang bahala dyan," said the veteran coach.
Gorayeb, however, couldn't help but let off steam over the absence of some members of the pool as well as the raging debate among rival fans amid accusations of favoritism on the part of the national coach.
"Trece na nga lang ang pagpipilian, wala pa 'yung lima," said Gorayeb. "Absent sila nang absent tapos pag may balita na tanggal na sila sa team mag-aalburoto mga fans nila."
Gorayeb also has one message to his critics.
"O, yung mga magagaling dyan kayo na ang mag-coach. Nagpapakahirap kami rito puna kayo nang puna," said the coach of San Sebastian and National University in the college leagues.
Sources said Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Rachel Anne Daquis, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Aby Maraño and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas were absent since they had to attend practice with their club teams in the Shakey's V-League.
Santiago-Manabat, Daquis and Gonzaga are with Army, which will face PLDT Home Ultera in the Shakey's V-League Season 12 Open Conference finals beginning on Thursday.
Maraño and Maizo-Pontillas are with Meralco and Cagayan, respectively, which will battle in a consolation game for third place.
Valdez, Santiago, Soltones and Lazaro are playing for unbeaten PLDT, which is coached by Gorayeb. But the veteran mentor said that they conducted practice for PLDT in the morning to give priority to the national team.
"Umaga kami nag-ensayo para sa hapon maka-ensayo kami sa national team," said Gorayeb.