Bali Pure’s Aiko Urdas’ climb back to shape has been slow, but every excruciating step has been worth it, if you ask both her and head coach Roger Gorayeb.
Urdas has been playing her best volleyball for Bali Pure since she tore her ACL two years ago. The Water Defenders — who were at one point in danger of elimination in the PVL Open Conference — owe much of their success this season to Urdas’ consistent play.
Her performance hit a peak, scoring a team-high 15 points to lead Bali Pure over Pocari Sweat in Game One of the Finals.
Not one for words, Urdas was shy and reluctant when reporters asked her questions about her terrific play.
Instead, Gorayeb spoke up for his opposite spiker.
“Ako proud ako na ganiyan na siya. Wala naman ‘tong ere sa katawan. Basta makatulong siya sa team. Kay mapansin siya o hindi, basta makatulong siya,” said the team’s father-figure about the current National University Lady Bulldog.
“Kahit hindi siya nagka-award, mas importante sa kanya ‘yung mas malaking trophy.”
In his euphoria, Gorayeb waxed poetic about his team’s solid chemistry.
“Hindi kami nagsama-sama dito kasi binayaran kami o may pera. Hinila ko lang sila, hindi ko sila nagtanong tungkol sa sweldo o sa allowance,” declared the V-League’s only triple-crown champion.
“‘Yun ang pinaka-gusto ko sa kanila. Sumama sila dito kasi gusto nilang maglaro na magkakasama kami.”
However, the winningest coach in PVL history remains wary of a let up in Game Two on Wednesday.
“Masaya kami ngayon dahil ganito ang sitwayon namin. Ko-kontrolin ko ang saya ng mga bata. Ayokong ma-e-elate masyado ‘yung mga bata. Gusto ko maintain lang ‘yung masaya kami.”