Pinay volleybelles start campaign against Indonesia
ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 09, 2015 04:37 PM
"Sinasabi ko sa mga bata na ibigay na lahat ng makakaya nila kasi matagal-tagal din tayong nawala sa SEA Games." --- Roger Gorayeb
SINGAPORE—The country’s celebrated players will be put to their first test when they play Indonesia at the start of the volleyball competitions of the 28th Southeast Asian Games on Wednesday at the OCBC Arena Hall 2 of the Singapore National Stadium.
The highly-anticipated women’s game is set at noon while the men battle Malaysia at 3 pm.
Team Philippines is composed of top collegiate and semi-professional players whose modest target is a bronze, the same finish a national team achieved when the Philippines last played in Sea Games volleyball in 2005 in Manila.
"Sinasabi ko sa mga bata na ibigay na lahat ng makakaya nila kasi matagal-tagal din tayong nawala sa SEA Games," said Nationals' coach Roger Gorayeb. "Hindi man natin makuha ang ginto, ang importante ay amakapagpakita tayo ng maganda sa ating pagbabalik. Malaking kasiyahan na yun para sa ating mga kababayan."
The Filipinas, led by Alyssa Valdez, Rachel Anne Daquis and Abigail Marano, the most talked about players back home, will face an Indonesian side that includes Aprilia Santini Manganang, a 23-year-old power hitter who is said to be hermaphorodite.
Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc. President Jose Romasanta filed a protest against Manganang and is awaiting the result of tests by the Sea Games Medical Commission. Should Manganang fail a hormone test, she will be barred from playing—worse, if she plays and a positive medical result is released later in the games, Indonesia will forfeit its victories.
Gorayeb knows the threat but is unfazed.
"Napakalakas ‘nun. Para kang naglagay ng lalaki sa laro ng mga babae," said Gorayeb, who coach a team against a Manganang-led Indon side in the Asian qualifier for the world championship in Vietnam in 2009. "Pero kahit anong mangyari—nandyan man siya o wala—lalaban pa din tayo. Paghahandaaan natin ‘yan."