Are the Lady Stags still under Grethcel’s shadow?

San Sebastian College-Recoletos (SSCR) finally barged into the winning column of Group A in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Collegiate Conference Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.

The Lady Stags improved to 1-1 win-loss card after sweeping the winless Jose Rizal University 25-23, 25-22, 25-21.

Head coach Roger Gorayeb, however, is still far from satisfied despite the win.

The seasoned mentor blasted his wards for their lack of confidence and willingness to win shortly after surviving a see-saw match over the Lady Bombers.

“‘Di ko malaman. ‘Yung way of thinking nila ‘di nila mabago.”

He said the Lady Stags seemed to remain under the shadow of NCAA three-time Most Valuable Player Grethcel Soltones as they could hardly fill in the missing link in San Sebastian’s offense following her departure from the team.

“Parang lagi lang silang naghahanap ng Grethcel Soltones na papalo sa kanila ng malakas, na papalo sa kanila sa backline.”

“‘Yun ang problema namin last year, sa likod si Grethcel papalo pero kung sino ang nasa unahan wala na. ‘Yun pa rin ang nangyayari ngayon.”

Time to shine

Soltones is a gem of a talent.

She led the Lady Stags to a series of runner-up finishes in the NCAA since Season 90. Now, she is serving as an assistant coach of Gorayeb in San Sebastian together with her batchmate Kath Villegas.

But, for Gorayeb, life must go on even without Soltones.

“Given na ‘yun eh (na graduate na si Grethcel).”

“‘Di mo naman pwedeng ikatwiran kasi na wala si Grethcel.”

He said the Lady Stags bannered by skipper Joyce Sta. Rita, Vira Guillema, Nikka Dalisay, and Daurene Santos have to get their acts together as soon as possible.

After all, it’s the perfect time for them to shine.

“Lahat sila (dapat ang-step up). It’s time to shine, na kayo naman ang makilala.”

“Isang taon lang ang pagitan ng iba kay Grethcel. Sabi ko nga mangarap naman kayo. Sa dami ng gustong maglaro kayo ang nandiyan, mangarap naman kayo, na ‘kami naman, na kaya rin naming gawin ang ginagawa ni Grethcel.”

Yes, Soltones’ shoes may be too big to fill.

But Gorayeb was right – a new set of talents also has to shine.