LETHARGY was all around even the energetic Gretcel Soltones seemed infected, to the disgust of coach Roger Gorayeb.
San Sebastian suffered its first loss of the season, four sets to St. Benilde in the opener of the NCAA volleyball finals, and Gorayeb pointed to the lack of support for Soltones.
Soltones had 27 points, 26 on attacks, three points higher than all of her teammates’ contributions combined.
“I have this small doubt in my mind na ganyan ang mangyayari kaya Sabado pa lang pinaghandaan ko ’yan,” he said. “Kaso lang ang mga players hindi ko alam pagdating ngayon hindi ko alam bakit nagkaganyan.”
“Dumating sa point na pati si Gretcel nahawa na, nawalan na ng receive. Iba eh, hindi ko alam kung ninerbyos ba, o nasobrahan sa masyado sila na-overwhelm sa 9-0 (win-loss record prior to the game), hindi ko rin masabi, babae ’yan madami tumatakbo sa isip niyan eh,” said .
Indeed Soltones went wild in a lot of attacks in the latter part of the match, allowing St. Benilde to pull away.
[See St. Benilde deals San Sebastian first loss in opener of NCAA women's volleyball finals]
Denice Lim scored six points, Dangie Encarnacion added five, Nikka Dalisay had four, Jonah Corpuz chipped in three, Jolina Labiano and Joyce Sta. Rita had two markers apiece and Vira Guillema and Katherine Villegas had one point each.
“It became a team sana pero hindi it became a one-man team, si Gretcel, eh she cannot take it,” said Gorayeb. “Noong mga nakaraan kasing mga laro maganda pinupuntos ni Gretcel pero ang support kay Gretcel is very very important.
“Sabi ko sa kanila you don’t have to make 20 plus points, bawat isa lang tig-five points per game, per set or three points na lang,” he continued. “‘Yung limang players may three points, 15 na ’yun then kay Gretcel mo na ibigay ’yung 10 kaya na niya ’yun pero to give Gretcel the whole 25 points hindi pwede.”
“‘Yung support ng mga players wala eh, hindi ko alam, it was a sudden 360 degree turn from their previous game eh, sobra, sobra,” he pointed out.
The national team coach admitted the players' apologies after the match did little to appease him.
“Talagang nawala na sila, walang sinabi kung hindi, ‘Sorry, babawi ako’ which is purely negative,” said Gorayeb. “‘Yun ang ayaw na ayaw ko ‘yung magso-sorry at babawi. Hindi naman sugal ‘yan eh.”
SSC entered the finals with a thrice-to-beat advantage after a nine-match sweep of the elimination round but the series has been reduced to a virtual best-of-three.
“Wala, nagpunta sila dito sa finals ngayon ang tingin ko sa kanila parang nilaro lang nila ang championship maybe because ‘yung (thrice-to-beat advantage) kailangan kaming talunin,” he said.
“Ang kalaban natin gusto manalo, tayo andoon tayo ano ang gusto ba natin?”
Gorayeb also likened his wards to babies, and called out setter Vira Guillema for losing focus.
“Para kayong nalaglagan ng lollipop, noong second set nalaglag ’yung lollipop niyo nag-iiyak kayo, pwede naman damputin ang lollipop, hugasan (tapos) isubo pero nalaglag ang lollipop nila naghanap ng masusumbungan,” he said.
“‘Yan ang sinasabi ko, magkaiba ang attitude nila (CSB) looking for a way kung papanano makakalabas, may receive kami, maganda ang receive namin pero ang setter ko nawalan ng diskarte talaga,” he added.
“Naghahanap ngayon sila ng sasaklolo sa kanila, so who is this person, si Gretcel. But Gretcel can only take so much, hindi naman ito one-man team eh,” he continued. “So nawala na, noong wala na si Gretcel wala na sila matakbuhan pa, nagpa-baby.”