NATIONAL University coach Roger Gorayeb was lost for words after the Lady Bulldogs got the boot in the UAAP Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament.
NU bowed out and bid their season farewell after losing to La Salle, 14-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-15, which dropped the Lady Bulldogs to fifth place and out of the Final Four picture with a 7-7 card.
The veteran mentor, usually outspoken in lengthy post-game interviews, was unable to explain the meltdown as he put on a brave face before reporters on Wednesday at The Arena in San Juan.
“Nagpractice kami last week pa pati ‘yung depensahan pero syempre nandyan na ‘yan eh, tanggapin na lang namin. Sabi nga, we learned the lesson the hard way na sana naman matuto,” he said. “Kasi it will be useless if the same thing will happen again sa susunod so they’ll never learn from it.”
“Sabi ko nga if, you lose games you learn something, you gain experience. If you win games, you build confidence,” he added.
[See La Salle slams semifinal door on NU Lady Bulldogs]
Gorayeb aimed for a Finals appearance in his second season as NU coach following a strong showing last year. But his wards didn't live up to their mentor's high expectations and never found consistency all season.
The Lady Bulldogs were off to a 3-1 start in the season but absorbed three consecutive losses from University of Santo Tomas, Far Eastern University and University of the Philippines.
“Ganoon talaga, we started strong. Turning point doon sa UST, natalo kami ng, 11-6, lamang kami sa fifth set then doon na nag-umpisa. Hindi ko na alam ano nangyari, wala eh andyan na nagsunud-sunod na,” recalled Gorayeb.
“Masakit, third ka noong nakaraan (season) tapos ngayon fifth ka. Sabi nga, we have to bite the bullet. Talagang masakit sa loob mo ‘yan, take it with a grain of salt. Wala ka talagang magagawa,” he added.
Gorayeb, however, remained optimistic and hopes for a strong bounce back as they will join the Shakey’s V-League Open Conference set to start on May 14.