FORMER national coach Roger Gorayeb said will not allow his players from San Sebastian and National University to join the tryouts for the Philippine team to the AVC Asian Women’s Seniors Volleyball Championship and the 29th Southeast Asian Games.
“Hindi ko rin papayagan muna (ang players from SSC), focus muna kami rito sa NCAA. (Kahit sa NU) maaring gaoon din kasi mago-opening na (ang UAAP),” said the veteran mentor.
The Larong Volleyball sa Plipinas, Inc. (LVPI) will hold a three-day tryout at the Arellano gym in Taft Avenue on Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday under new national coach Francis Vicente.
Among those who will be affected by Gorayeb's decision are Lady Stags star Grethcel Soltones and NU standouts Jaja Santiago and setter Jasmine Nabor.
Santiago and Soltones are seen as shoo-ins to the team.
San Sebastian swept the elimination round of the NCAA Season 92 women's volleyball tournament for an outright berth in the finals where it will hold a thrice-to-beat advantage, while UAAP Season 79 will kick off on February 4 with NU taking on University of the East in the curtain raiser.
Explaining his decision, Gorayeb said that he wants all his players on both sides to have their 100 percent focus on their respective collegiate leagues.
“Pero sa ngayon kasi may NCAA at UAAP pa so focus muna kami dyan,” he said. “Mamaya madisgrasya pa doon (sa tryouts) eh. Maganda ‘yung (pagkatapos ng) practice, pahinga na.”
The 22-time NCAA champion coach said the Lady Stags can't make the same mistake they committed last year when College of St. Benilde erased their thrice-to-beat disadvantage en route to the title.
On the other hand, Gorayeb stressed that the Lady Bulldogs are on the last stretch of preparation for the UAAP and Santiago or any other player wishing to join the tryouts skipping practice will be costly.
The Lady Bulldogs will hold a practice on Saturday, he added.
“Magpa-practice ako sa Sabado, hindi pwedeng hindi (dahil) malapit na kami (sa UAAP), tulad niyan tatlong araw na akong wala doon. Noong Lunes meron ako dito (sa NCAA), kahapon may shoot sila, ngayon nandito ako (ulit sa NCAA),” he said.
Santiago and her elder sister, former NU star Dindin, have both confirmed their attendance in the tryouts.