NATIONAL University coach Roger Gorayeb hopes to neutralize an unbeaten and inspired La Salle side as the two teams clash in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament on Wednesday at the Mall Of Asia Arena.
Coming from a, 17-25, 25-20, 25-20, 25-20, victory over Adamson on Saturday, the veteran mentor does not want to be complacent when they face the Ara Galang-led Lady Spikers.
The veteran mentor, whose Lady Bulldogs lost to two-time defending champion Ateneo in straight sets in the season opener, believes the Lady Spikers’ morale is on a high especially with Galang coming back from a major knee injury.
“Ang La Salle nandoon pa rin ang championship spirit nila,” Gorayeb said. “Makikita mo sila inspired sila kay Galang kasi despite the fact na galing sa injury, nandoon sa loob (ng court) kasama nila. So ‘yun ang nagiging inspiration nila, ‘yun ang nagda-drive sa kanila palagi.”
“So kailangan ma-neutralize namin ‘yun next game,” he added.
The outspoken coach, however, refused to disclose what he has in his sleeve against the Lady Spikers.
“Secret, secret na malupit,” he said in jest.
Putting a blemish on La Salle’s perfect record (2-0) will be a tough task but NU stalwart Jaja Santiago is optimistic should the team maintains its teamwork the way it did against Adamson, the Lady Bulldogs might have a chance of defeating the Lady Spikers.
“Sa nakita ko, kung magbe-base ako sa game namin (against Adamson), ‘yung teamwork namin and ‘yung enjoy sa loob ng court (ang advantage namin),” said the 6-foot-5 middle blocker.
“At the same time siguro ‘yung tiwala namin sa isa’t-isa na kaya namin manalo (ang isa pa naming edge),” she added.
La Salle is currently tied with Ateneo at the top, while NU is on a four-way logjam with University of the Philippines, Far Eastern University, and Adamson at 1-1.