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'Heart' at center of Capital1's arsenal for PVL campaign, says Gorayeb

MANILA, Philippines – He may not have the luxury of a long and careful preparation, but Roger Gorayeb, the well-loved coach of newcomer Capital1 Solar Energy, is banking heavily on his players’ big fighting heart in their bid to pull off some surprises in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) All-Filipino Conference, which starts next week.

“In this league, time is a good investment considering the level of competition. It’s very tough, so I am pinning my hopes on their big fighting hearts as we begin our journey,” said Gorayeb during the team dinner Monday night, February 12, hosted by amiable owners Mandy and Milka Romero.

Gorayeb’s concern is valid as the Solar Spikers are barely three-week old when the league opens shop on Tuesday next week.

“First two days of our practice, naririnig ko pa sila nagtatanong ‘ano nga name mo,’” said Gorayeb with his usual toothy smile.

Still, Gorayeb is convinced that all 20 players of the team have one common mission — that is to prove that they truly belong to the widely popular pro league.

“Gutom sila sa playing time so I am very sure they will give it their all each game. Lalaban sila ng sabayan sa mga established teams in the league,” added the multi-titled tactician who helped sharpen the skills of sport idol Alyssa Valdez dating back their celebrated Ateneo days.

Gorayeb also expressed in delight that there no such thing as “star factor” in the team — at least for now.

“No egos whatsoever for my team which is a mixture experienced players and young ones. Lahat sila iisa ang lang iniisip, which is how to help Capitail1win games and gain followers,” said Gorayeb as he hopped from one table to another to exchange pleasantries with his players, including new additions Patty Orendain and Aiko Urdas.

As expected, the Romero sisters, determined to relive the winning legacy their father — Rep. Mikee Romero — started while handling a basketball team in the defunct Philippine Basketball League, challenged the team not only to go out and play but also fight ferociously like wounded lions. 

“Show that we belong to this league and always give your best shots,” said Mandy, who heads the family-owned Capital1 Solar Energy. 

Milka, the