COACH Roger Gorayeb is keeping his fingers crossed that volleyball would sustain its phenomenal growth domestically so that players would no longer need to go abroad to play at the top level.
The Filipinas have caught the attention of foreign teams in the 2015 Asian Under 23 Women’s Volleyball Championships, with the national coach of Chinese Taipei expecting Jaja Santiago to be a crowd-drawer in the their domestic league if she decides to move there.
But Gorayeb aired the hope that playing opportunities would still be there when this group of players finish college, and that domestic leagues will be able to keep the top players from leaving.
Gorayeb said these players can help Philippine volleyball more by staying put.
“Sa time element, they cannot leave the country now because they have schools,” Gorayeb said. “How I wish after graduation options will be open.”
“But I strongly feel, as of this time, na gumaganda ang ang volleyball and it’s becoming popular in the Philippines, there’s no need for these players to go out of the country,” he added.
Gorayeb said Santiago, Alyssa Valdez, and the other stars of this young team can help boost the sport more by staying in the country and playing for the national team - not by seeing action abroad.
“It’s about time to be nationalistic,” Gorayeb said after the Under-23 team beat Iran in straight sets to finish in seventh place in the Philippines' return to the international stage after a long absence.
“For now we wanted to tell these girls to stay in the Philippines, promote volleyball and carry the flag.”