Philippines to host Asian Men's Volleyball Club Championships
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF) will try to capitalize on the sport’s sudden resurgence when the country hosts the 2014 Asian Men's Volleyball Club Championship on April 8 to 16 to be held in different venues.
The Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) awarded to the Philippines in organizing the annual club championship after Vietnam backed out for unknown reasons.
Former Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman Philip Ella Juico, who is also the PVF chairman and an ex-Department of Agrarian Reform Secretary, said he is happy that the country’s men’s team will make its return in the international scene.
“This tournament is aimed at putting the Philippines back in international volleyball activities. The last time a men’s team played in the (Southeast Asian Games) was in 1997 when I’m still the PSC Chairman. I’m happy that the men’s team will make its return in the international scene, we just want to also revive interest in men’s volleyball after the popularity of the women’s,” said Juico.
Juico added the event is expected to boost the country’s AVC ranking, which is currently at 127th in the men’s and 100th in the women’s.
Fourteen to 16 teams are expected to join in the weeklong tournament with reigning champion Iran aiming to win a record ninth overall gold medal with two-time titlists South Korea, Kazakhstan, Qatar and China out to foil its bid.
AVC Development and Marketing Committee Chairman Ramon Suzara said that although this would be the first time the Philippines will be playing in the continental club championship, the men’s team is expected to gain a lot in seeing the level of competition of the said event.
“Currently we don’t have any ides on the level of competition in the club championships but it would certainly help raise the level of awareness and interest of Filipinos in men’s volleyball, which is currently dominated by women's leagues.”
Hosting the club championships is one of PVF’s plans to help the men’s and women’s teams regain its top three ranking in the Southeast Asian Games.
The PVF started the men’s tryout on January 15 at The Arena in San Juan City. January 18 and 19 are the other dates of the tryout. Priority will be given to members of Philippine Super Liga champions PLDT MyDSL. Collegiate standouts from University Athletic Association of the Philippines and National Collegiate Athletic Association schools are also invited.
Suzara added that they will also be tapping two South Korean imports as the format in the club championships allow foreign players on the roster. Each team can get as many foreign players but only two will be permitted to play inside the court.
Aside from The Arena, the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City is also being tapped as another venue with the Meralco, De La Salle-Greenhills, Xavier School, Jose Rizal University and Lourdes School gyms as practice venues. - Rappler.com