Gorayeb: Getting Dimaculangan was PLDT's top priority | Inquirer Sports

Gorayeb: Getting Dimaculangan was PLDT’s top priority

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 04:44 PM March 07, 2021
Roger Gorayeb

FILE – Roger Gorayeb. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — PLDT Home Fibr was left in a bind when the competing teams in the Premier Volleyball League started signing players left and right.

Head coach Roger Gorayeb found himself at a disadvantage after most of the top players have already signed contracts with the other teams leaving him with a limited pool to fill in his roster spots.

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But there was one player that he had to have and that was setter Rhea Dimaculangan.

Gorayeb said Dimaculangan is going to be his cornerstone in his return to the PVL and that the setter should be the team’s priority signing.

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“Rhea is my cornerstone because she’s already at the highest level of Philippine volleyball yet she’s so humble. She’s very patient, she doesn’t pout, and she never got angry,” said Gorayeb in Filipino Saturday. “She’s a very low-key player and if you’re a player with an ego, you can’t be arrogant around her because she’s so good on top of being so kind.”

“I had to sign Rhea, it’s fine even if I don’t get the other top players. Rhea doesn’t have an equal, we need to get her.”

Dimaculangan previously played for Petron and Foton in the Philippine Super Liga wherein she won a total of four championships, two Best Setter awards, and the 2018 All-Filipino MVP.

Gorayeb and Dimaculangan were on two opposing sides during the latter’s collegiate days with University of Santo Tomas while the former called the shots for Ateneo.

A few years later in 2015, the two ultimately got on the same team when Gorayeb became head coach of the women’s national volleyball team that competed in the Southeast Asian Games.

Though Dimaculangan wasn’t named skipper of that team, an honor that belonged to Jovelyn Gonzaga, Gorayeb made it a point that the setter would be the first one he recruited.

“Before the 2015 SEA Games, Rhea was the first person I called and she only had one question then and that was who would be the coach so I told her I’d be the coach,” said Gorayeb. “She immediately told me that she’d be part of the team.”

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“I already know Rhea’s style of play, so this would be a reunion of sorts for us.”

Dimaculangan is not only the most decorated player in Gorayeb’s PLDT roster, the one-time UAAP champion is also the oldest at 29-years-old so it was a no-brainer for the legendary coach to name the setter his skipper.

Gorayeb, who won an astounding 39 championships in the NCAA, said Dimaculangan initially rejected the Power Hitters captaincy but she ultimately accepted her fate in the team.

“I told her ‘you’re going to be the captain’ but she said she doesn’t want to. My reason is she can calm things down when play gets messy,” said Gorayeb. “She eventually accepted it, and I told her ‘Rhea, you don’t have a choice’”

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TAGS: PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters, Premier Volleyball League, Roger Gorayeb, Sports
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