Volleyball stars, community unite for coach Roger Gorayeb

Mark Escarlote on Nov 03, 2019 07:40 PM
Volleyball stars, community unite for coach Roger Gorayeb
Multi-titled coach Roger Gorayeb's daughters Camille (middle) and Cheska together with their father's former players during the benefit concert for the mentor. (Josh Albelda)

Multi-titled coach Roger Gorayeb received a lot of love from the Philippine volleyball community in a benefit concert Sunday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

Local volleyball stars led by his former players from the NCAA, UAAP, his club teams and the national squad gathered for a night of music and appreciation for the mentor, who is battling multiple myeloma.

Gorayeb has been confined at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City for almost a month.

Volleyball players led by Alyssa Valdez, Kalei Mau and Sisi Rondina performed on stage for the fans and gracious donors who attended the event.

“Thank you sa opportunity na ito. Nais naming magpasalamat sa lahat ng mga taong nadoon since Day 1, kasi alam naman natin na medyo matagal na itong kay Papa,” said Gorayeb’s eldest daughter Camille, who was with her sister Cheska and brother Kyle during the benefit event. “Kaming tatlong magkakapatid plus si Mama [Lucy] napakalaking bagay na nakita lahat ito, na hindi kami nag-iisa.”

Camille, 31, said that they’re grateful for the overwhelming love and support they’re getting for their father, who is currently the coach of PLDT Home Fibr in the Philippine Superliga.

Gorayeb last called the shots for PLDT almost a month ago.

The 58-year old coach steered San Sebastian College to 23 women’s indoor titles, 11 in juniors, six in men’s and six beach volleyball women’s crowns in NCAA. He molded Ateneo’s volleyball program to what it is right now during his five-year stay from 2008-2013 and was known to be the mentor who sparked the Ateneo-De La Salle University rivalry.  

Gorayeb also won numerous titles in his club teams with his last in the Premier Volleyball League two years ago for BaliPure. He was the national team coach of the U-23 women's team and the 2015 Singapore Southeast Asian Games women's squad. 

“Sobra pong overwhelming for us kasi alam nyo po si Papa pag-uwi sa bahay walang volleyball talk, bawal, Wala kaming kilala, mostly ang kilala lang namin yung mga nakikita namin sa TV na players. Ayaw niya [pag-usapan ang volleyball] sa bahay ang gusto niya pahinga,” said Camille. “So itong nangyari na ito ang dami naming na-meet na tao. Kumbaga nagkukwento sila kung paano sila natulungan ni Papa, nakakataba ng puso.”

“Sobrang overwhelming ito sa amin, lalo na sa aming tatlong magkakapatid,” she added.

Charo Soriano and Dzi Gervacio spearheaded the organization of the event.

“It was really a lot of groups of people who wanted to help and instead of doing different types of things we wanted a unified, collective effort for Coach Roger. Truly he’s been really a second father for us and we wanted to give back sa kanya,” she said.

The players themselves, said Gervacio, were game to perform and sing for fans and the guests.

“Hindi lang donation in terms of money but also their time and effort, their talent,” said Gervacio, who was part of the Ateneo Fab 5 assembled by Gorayeb. “Hindi lang volleyball talent but their other talents as well.”

Other athletes who performed on stage were Panpan Pantino, Beauty Denila, Nicole Tiamzon, Dimdim Pacres, Kara Acevedo, Jema Galanza, Deanna Wong, Gretchen Ho and Kiefer Ravena.

Artists who graced the event were Ebe Dancel, Quest, Wicked Adobo, Lunar Lights and Anyo.

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