ROGER Gorayeb and his wards will take their talents to Philippine Superliga as the new core of the Smart team in the 2018 All-Filipino Conference opening in October.
Gorayeb will be returning to the PSL for the first time since coaching PLDT in 2014, bringing with him to the Giga Hitters the core of the PayMaya side that took the silver medal in the Premier Volleyball League Reinforced Conference.
"Parang nothing new to me in terms of competition pero sa mga bata lang kasi parang it's a different world for them. ‘Yung iba first time maglalaro sa PSL. Sila yung more excited for this,” said Gorayeb.
Grethcel Soltones, who played for Iriga City last year but was slapped with one-year ban for appearing in the PVL All-Star Game, will try to complete unfinished business by donning the Smart jersey.
Joining Gorayeb and Soltones are former NU Lady Bulldogs standouts Jasmine Nabor, Aiko Urdas and Jorelle Singh, libero Lizlee Ann Gata-Pantone and San Sebastian’s Alyssa Eroa, Joyce Sta. Rita and Kat Villegas as well as Angelica Macabalitao, and Lauren Ann Latigay.
The new Smart coach said that he will reveal his other recruits in the coming weeks but for now, he is putting premium on chemistry.
"Very important yan kasi yung cohesiveness ng team depends on the familiarity they have with one another. Alam nila kung ano weakness nila at kung san puwesto sila magaling," Gorayeb said. “Yung in-game adjustments magiging mas madali."
Smart team official Epok Quimpo is grateful to see Gorayeb and his wards give the club team a huge boost, but was quick to temper expectations.
"For years, coach Roger has proven that he is a winner, so we're excited for the new direction of the Giga Hitters. For now, we want to temper expectations, but of course we hope everything turns our way as the season comes along,” Quimpo said.