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GUV Cup Season 8 opens But future of country's biggest volleyball tournament uncertain

CEBU, Philippines - The eighth season of the Governor Gwen Garcia Unity Volleyball (GUV) Cup formally kicked off yesterday at the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) but the future of the country's biggest volleyball tournament remains uncertain as Gwen, its forerunner and biggest benefactor, is now in her last term as Chief Executive of the province.

Since its inception in 2005, the GUV Cup has grown bigger and better each year. The Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF) was so impressed with such unique developmental sports program on a province-wide scale that it declared Cebu as the "Volleyball Capital of the Philippines" two years ago.

But with Gwen serving her last 10 months at the Capitol, the organizing Cebu Volleyball Association (CEVA), for the time being, couldn't give yet an assurance if ever the event will continue in the coming years.

Not unless Cebu 3rd District Rep. Pablo John "PJ" Garcia succeeds in taking over the reins of leadership from her sister Gwen.

“If he wins in the 2013 elections as the next governor of Cebu, PJ (Pablo John) assured us that the GUV Cup will continue,” said CEVA president Andrew G. Choachuy.

Pablo John Garcia will go up against Hilario Davide III for the governorship of Cebu in next year's polls.

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When pressed further on what will happen if ever PJ Garcia fails in his bid, Choachuy replied: "We haven't talked about it yet as to what will happen to this event if ever PH will not win. Let's just wait and see what we can do."

A reliable source, however, told The Freeman that the Cebu Provincial Board is already drafting a resolution to institutionalize GUV Cup as volleyball will be one of the priority sports of the province once the Provincial Sports Commission will be formed. The others are badminton, sepak takraw, swimming and horse-related competitions.

Meanwhile, the 8th GUV Cup has attracted a total of 16 teams in the kiddies division for girls, 29 in the women's category and 14 in the men's class.

Through the years, the GUV Cup has produced top caliber athletes, some of them are now enjoying athletic scholarships from various colleges and universities.

Twenty four (24) of them have been honored as "Garbo sa GUV Cup" during the simple opening rites graced by no less than Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Ritchie Garcia.

Eighteen (18) of them are now with Southwestern University namely Oslob’s Dorothy Nova, Moalboal’s Renee Coleen, Nathalie Gimeno and Junabelle Anne Gempero, Alegria’s Veada Reeya Cuevas, Catmon’s John Paul Romo and Mary Angielo Castillo, Liloan’s Relan Taneo and Rommel Pepito, Dalaguete’s Roberto Vocal, Mandaue’s Reyet Varga, John Lorenze Famoso, Han Delmar Yordan, Carl Alivio, Chariza Mae Rico, Gaye Marie Alferez, Crisheil May Suba-an, Crisley Ann Sucalit and Compostela’s Francs Pepito.

Another Oslob player in Mary Joy Dacoron is now with Adamson University. Liloan’s Donna Mae Cuyos and Jennifer Rodriguez are with the University of Southern Philippines Foundation along with Mandaue’s Gelly Murpos, Toledo’s Joeviel Prajes has been recruited by the University of San Carlos (USC), while Sta. Fe’s Efren Diego is with University of San Jose-Recoletos. (FREEMAN)

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