SMART head coach Roger Gorayeb is hoping for a fresh start as the Giga Hitters open their second round campaign against Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors in the Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference on Tuesday at the Bacoor Strike Gym in Bacoor, Cavite.
After failing to live up to the expectations with a dismal 2-5 win-loss record in the first round, Gorayeb was left perplexed seeing his team lose three straight matches to end Round 1.
“Hindi ko na maintindihan, hindi naman ako manghuhula,” he said. “Kinakausap ko sila nang maayos kung may problema ba, bakit nagkakaganyan? Walang team work, wala kaming depensa, wala kaming opensa. Wala sila sa focus from the very start.”
“Ako naman, nahihiya din ako. Kailangan makabawi kami ng second round,” added Gorayeb, whose team is facing a winless Sta. Lucia (0-8) at the start of their Pool A campaign at 2 p.m. in Bacoor City.
Gorayeb, who is currently juggling All-Filipino Conference and NCAA Season 94 for his San Sebastian Lady Stags, said that his wards bannered by Grethcel Soltones, Jerrili Malabanan, Jasmine Nabor, Aiko Urdas and Lizlee Pantone might be still adjusting transitioning from Premier Volleyball League to a different battlefield in PSL.
But it shouldn’t be an excuse.
“Maaaring ganoon din, but you cannot make that an excuse. Iba nga kalaban mo, pero volleyball din naman 'yan,” he said. “Isa lang ang court na ginagamit, isang bola. What's the difference? 'Yung pagkukulang naming lahat hindi mo pwedeng hanapan ng excuse.”
Gorayeb also lamented that the Giga Hitters are always out of focus and he takes the blame for it.
“Hindi naman sila out of shape. Out of focus sila. May iba silang iniisip. Nagpa-practice naman kami. Pero responsibility ko pa rin naman 'yan,” he said.
As Smart hopes to end its woes, Petron (8-0) seeks to preserve its unbeaten run against Foton (5-2) in another titanic Pool A match at 7 p.m., while Pool B teams Generika-Ayala and Cignal, who are tied with 4-3 slates, clash to open their second round campaign at 4:15 p.m.