PLDT parades two imports against Philippine Army in finals but Gorayeb says that doesn’t guarantee victory
PLDT coach Roger Gorayeb says Army has a big advantage in team cohesion. Jerome Ascano

HAVING two foreign imports is definitely a big advantage, but PLDT Home Ultera coach Roger Gorayeb says it’s not a surefire formula for winning a championship.

Recently-tapped American reinforcements Victoria Hurtt and Sareea Freeman lead PLDT when it disputes the V-League Reinforced Conference title with a Philippine Army squad that reached the finals unbeaten without foreign players.

"It's an advantage (having imports) because it gives us more options on offense and defense," said Gorayeb.

"But I don't think it makes us a sure thing for a championship because it could backfire since we haven't really trained together that much," he added.

Gorayeb rested his two reinforcements in Home Ultera’s emphatic 25-11, 25-17, 25-17 romp over University of the Philippines in their Final Four duel last Sunday.

"I want them to see and adjust to how the locals play and not the other way around," said Gorayeb.

"Army is a very experienced team and they've been together for a long time now," said Gorayeb.

Army, runner-up in last year’s tournament, has some of the country's top players in Jovelyn Gonzaga, Aby Maraño, Honey Royse Tubino, Mary Remy Palma and ace setter Tina Salak.

Home Ultera also boasts several stars in former MVP Aiza Maizo Pontillas and Janine Marciano, along setter Rubie de Leon, Sue Roces, Rysabelle Devanadera, Laurence Ann Latigay and Gretcel Soltones.

The Ultra Fast Hitters could also get a big boost from Alyssa Valdez, who hasn’t seen action this conference due to back problems.

"We're still hoping she plays in the finals," said Gorayeb.

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