A man called Shok & the V-League VIS staff
ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 18, 2016 01:33 PM
Meet the V-League VIS family.
Christopher Anore Jr.’s volleyball career went no farther than playing college ball, but the sport has loved him back in other ways. It has put him in the graces of three men whose big hearts and life-changing generosity he says he’ll be eternally grateful for.
This jolly father of three girls from Sta. Maria, Bulacan, fondly called Shoktong or Shok in the volleyball circle, manages the volleyball information system (VIS) of the Shakey’s V-League for TMX Sport, the outfit contracted by league organizer Sports Vision to provide, among other requirements, the running statistics game after game after game.
Through most of V-League’s 13 seasons now, Shok has been supervising its information system, keeping him and the men and women hired by TMX gainfully employed for the most part of each year since 2004. During the long break which follows the season-ending Reinforced Conference of the longest-running league in women’s volleyball, TMX may send them to work other major school competitions like the NCAA and UAAP and even some international beach volleyball games. Or usually they go on an out-of-town outing.
“Volleyball for a long time now has been providing my family with all our basic needs. Food, clothing, and, yes, even shelter,” said Shok with candor and pride. “I met these three great people in the course of my involvement in the sport and it was they who encouraged me to have my own house by loaning me out part of the money needed so I could move into an existing unit in a subdivision in Sta. Maria.”
Home to the Anores for years now, the modest, two-bedroom structure rises as a testament to the kindnesses of these benefactors and of how well he has been putting to good use all the earnings he’s been deriving from the sport. He admits he’s still paying for it, though, and is thankful that volleyball-related jobs keep coming his way.
Trio of godfathers
After playing for National University in the UAAP for two years as an open spiker, the five-foot-eight Shok transferred to San Sebastian College under coach Roger Gorayeb. The now multi-titled coach converted him into a libero in his three years in the NCAA. More than naming him to the Stags’ lineup that eventually won the NCAA in 2001-2002, the outspoken coach’s humanity and generosity of spirit touched him as no one did before.
Shok saw first-hand how coach Gorayeb treated his players as family. He and his teammates could approach him anytime for financial assistance and they would not be disappointed.
“If Coach (Gorayeb) had no money at the time, he would seek ways so the needy would get it. Or he would give us refereeing jobs, which he always did. He would often include us on his volleyball sidelines either as referees, linesmen or scorers,” he said.
Shok was to learn later that Gorayeb never forgets his players even long after they’ve left his team. When he married young, he quit his studies and waited on tables in a bar. Two years into the job his SSC coach got in touch with him and offered him to be his coaching assistant on the men’s and women’s teams of FEATI University.
He accepted and then got to meet through Gorayeb as well Tony Boy Liao, then a high ranking official of the national ruling body in volleyball and who’s now the V-League commissioner. Together, Gorayeb and Liao gave him more extra work and more income in the sport in the process. And as the founders of the hugely successful V-League were working on their inaugural tournament in 2004, the coach introduced him to Sherwin Malonzo, a former UP Fighting Maroon who was then looking for people to hire for his newly-formed company, TMX Sport.
Shok recounts one particularly unforgettable experience he had with his former coach.
Told by the FEATI management to cut the size of his coaching staff in an austerity measure, Gorayeb voluntarily resigned so the rest of his assistant coaches and trainers could keep their jobs. As a result, Shok was promoted to head coach, a position he has held for 10 years now till today.
Malonzo has long left the management of the V-League VIS to Shok, who has a staff of 30 to deploy including his supervisor, Leslie Competente. Coach Gorayeb, now mentor of both the Lady Stags and the NU Bulldogs, and V-League Commissioner Liao, who also sits as team manager of the Ateneo Lady Blue Eagles, keep giving him refereeing jobs and other volleyball-related work.
Through Liao, whose generosity is fabled, Shok got to work in international beach tournaments like the Muscat Open in Oman (as a table scorer), and the more recent Fit to Hit at MOA, Spike for Peace at Ultra in Pasig, and the Beach Volleybal Republic Invitational in Cagayan Valley (as a referee).
Shok says he’s taking extra care not to lose the trust and respect of Liao, Gorayeb and Malonzo, the three persons outside his family who have made the most impact on his life.
VIS run like a family
Taking after how Gorayeb handles his team, Shok, with Competente’s assistance, runs the VIS operations like a family. Diligent and conscientious about their work, the VIS men and women report at the playing venue an hour and a half before game time to set up and leave at least 30 minutes after the final match when they’ve stored away the equipment of their trade for the next playing day. Over years of working together, the VIS staff, generally former volleyball players themselves, have grown extra close with one another.
Apart from churning out statistics, the VIS people also make scouting videos, data valleys, and software which interested parties may have through arrangements with TMX Sport.
Sports Vision salute the following VIS and TMX Sport people for their tested excellence in their specialized line of work. Sherwin Malonzo (TMX proprietor), Christopher Anore Jr. (VIS manager)), Leslie Competente (supervisor), Jericho San Juan (admin officer), Mackie Sarmiento, Arcie Cedo, Renz Lupos, Anthony Demeterio, Marc Morales, Ube Lavalle, Stephanie Baluyot, Yda Roque and Patrick Sulivas; Jace Gepuela, Eileen Araza, Emy Ramirez, Mhai Pacot, Ethel Oconer, Aezam Ranario, Aileen Ranario, Ann Flores, Jasson Deala, Jophel Cruz, Nestea Beninsig, George Barcelona, Lyca Aballe, Rheinz Franco, Emil Gruta, Phillip Silloco, Che Salonga, Tina Pron and Tina Tempillo.