COACH Roger Gorayeb is glad Jerrili Malabanan has responded well to instructions and is hoping the Far Eastern University star can sustain her fine play with Smart in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference.
With Malabanan taking charge, Smart scored second straight win in Pool A, beating the Foton Tornadoes in straight sets.
Gorayeb said he expects Malabanan to help show the way for the Giga Hitters, who play one more match in the preliminary round, against Petron on Saturday in Caloocan City, before heading to the quarterfinals next week.
“Sinabi ko sa kanya, ‘Jerrili it’s high time na magmature ka na ng pagiisip mo, iba na yung level eh,” said Gorayeb.
“‘Kasi dito gamit na gamit ka kahit anong mali mo andyan ka pa rin e kasi nagtitiwala sayo. So ipush mo yung sarili mo.’”
Malabanan is eager to do well, knowing that the Giga Hitters cannot afford lapses at this stage of the tournament.
“I’ve been trying my best the past two games because I know my performance before hasn’t been what the team needs so I’ve been trying to keep improving each game,” said the Lady Tamaraw.
But even as the Malabanan has been letting her game do the talking, Gorayeb wants the soft-spoken Lady Tamaraws star to communicate well with her teammates inside the court.
“Si Jerrili communication wise … Hindi nagsasalita masyado sobrang tahimik,” Gorayeb said.
The outside hitter from California, who also plays for FEU in the PSL Collegiate Grand Slam every Saturday, agreed with Gorayeb’s observation.
“For me individually, I think sometimes I get complacent with the way I play like if I play good enough first set, sometimes I lose those plays. So I think I have to be consistent the whole game,” she said.
“Since this is our first time playing for Smart in the PSL. I think we’re just wanna show everybody that we’re not a team that can be pushed around, we wanna show the other teams that we’re competitive,” Malabanan said.