Gorayeb hopes new recruits will help Home Fibr Hitters return to PVL
PLDT coach Roger Gorayeb
Philippine Superliga/Roman Prospero

Gorayeb hopes new recruits will help Home Fibr Hitters return to PVL

Rick Olivares (Philstar.com) - February 8, 2021 - 1:03pm

MANILA, Philippines – When you look at the PLDT Home Fibr Hitters’ lineup that will see action in the upcoming Premier Volleyball League Open Conference season, it is not your typical Roger Gorayeb team.

All of Gorayeb’s previous club squads have always had a sizeable contingent of his players from San Sebastian, Ateneo, and National University, or even from Balipure.

While the roster may have holdovers, the six new faces present an interesting challenge — how to integrate them into his team with the only practice they have had is virtual.

There are middle hitters Maristela Layug and Mareilla Gabarda, open hitter Isa Molde, opposite hitters Toni Rose Basas and Eli Soyud, setter Rhea Dimaculangan, and Nieza Viray, who the coach hopes to convert into a libero.

“That’s true,” agreed Gorayeb of the observation about this particular lineup. “But we are hoping that their sense of purpose — yung gutom ng mga bagong player ko at yung kagustuhan nila na patunayan ang sarili nila — will help this team.”

“It will be the collective effort and not the individual talent which will help us this season,” added the veteran volleyball coach who returns to the PVL four years after he led Balipure to the same conference where his Home Fibr Hitters will play — the Open Conference.

Of that Purest Water Defenders team, Jasmine Nabor, Grethcel Soltones and Jerrili Malabanan followed Gorayeb to PLDT, his mother club. The three have since left for other clubs.

Gorayeb’s holdover players from Balipure and PLDT include opposite hitters Aiko Urdas and Jorelle Singh and libero Alyssa Eroa. 

“With the right attitude and character, we can do well.”

While the team might look thin in the middle, Gorayeb is hoping that Layug’s hunger to prove herself will pay off. 

“Meron siyang tapang na pinakita nung nasa UP siya,” pointed out the PLDT coach. “Kung maitaas niya yung level ng laro niya ay malaking bagay para sa team namin ‘yan. “Then if Joyce Sta. Rita and Kate Villegas can provide quality minutes on the court also at the same position, magiging okay kami.”

Gorayeb also hopes that Dimaculangan’s veteran smarts and poise will help his team. 

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