May nadisgrasya na d'yan -- Gorayeb on thrice-to-beat advantage
Mark Escarlote on Jan 18, 2016 11:56 AM
Thrice-to-beat (kami) pero alam nyo naman na mahirap magtiwala sa ganyang thrice-to-beat e -- SSC-R coach Roger Gorayeb
San Sebastian College head coach Roger Gorayeb admits that having a thrice-to-beat advantage against the College of St. Benilde Lady Blazers cuts their work in the 91st NCAA women’s volleyball championship.
Two wins and they're done while the opposing team will have to toil for three victories for an upset.
But the multi-titled mentor also knows for a fact that a thrice-to-beat advantage is not a fail-safe guarantee to win a championship.
Especially in volleyball.
“Thrice-to-beat (kami) pero alam n’yo naman na mahirap magtiwala sa ganyang thrice-to-beat e. May nadisgrasya na sa ganyan e,” he said.
The Lady Stags will try to finish off the Lady Blazers as quickly as they can in the series to collect their 24th title overall and hand Gorayeb his 23rd championship trophy.
The 4:00 p.m. series opener on Tuesday at The Arena in San Juan and will air live on ABS-CBN Sports+Action Channel 23 and ABS-CBN Sports+Action HD Channel 166 and also via livestream at sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/ncaa.
SSC-R swept the 9-game eliminations and are coming off a one-week rest.
Gorayeb pointed out that a huge advantage will be wasted if they let their guard down.
They don’t want to be another De La Salle University.
“O bakit sa UAAP? ‘Di ba nangyari ‘yan e. ‘Yung Ateneo noon twice-to-beat nila ang NU (National University) tapos thrice-to-beat nila ang La Salle. So hindi mo masabi pero kami as much as possible we’ll try to maintain ‘yung laro namin ngayon ang give more,” said Gorayeb, also the national team coach.
Ateneo got its breakthrough title in the UAAP in 2014 in a fairy tale fashion, getting past a series of do-or-die games before toppling the then thrice-to-beat DLSU.
Other than their Finals incentive, Gorayeb said that they are actually the underdogs considering the edge in ceiling of the Lady Blazers.
“Wala e, wala kami masyadong height factor. Ang sa atin lang kumabaga ay ‘yung pickup points ng mga players,” he said.
“Kapag kalaban namin sila para kaming nagwa-walling sa lalaki ng mga ‘yan!”
However, Gorayeb knows how to counter the Taft-based squad’s height advantage.
“Patayuin mo ang mga batang ‘yan, talo talaga kami sa height. Though height is a must saka height is also a big factor, we can make do of other skills naman sa volleyball: ‘yung depensa, ‘yung speed, ‘yung mga atakeng mabibilis,” he said. “’Yun ang kailangan naming gawin kasi ‘yun lang ang pangkontra mo sa height e. Kailangang mauna ng spiker dun sa blocker e.”
While CSB has Jeanette Panaga, Janine Navarro and Ranya Musa, Gorayeb will be leaning on reigning Most Valuable Player Grethcel Soltones. He just hopes that his other players will step up for the cause.
“Si Grethcel given na gagawa si Grethcel. Kahit anong sama ng laro ni Grethcel magde-deliver ‘yan e but ‘yung support ng ibang player ‘yun ang malaking bagay para sa amin,” said Gorayeb.
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