MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines marks its return to international volleyball scene as it hosts the 2014 Asian Men’s Volleyball Club Championship presented by PLDT-Fibr April 8-16 at The Arena in San Juan and the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
This will be the first time for the country to stage a major continental tourney since 2009 when it hosted the Asian Men’s Championship. The hosting came about after original host Vietnam backed out and the rejuvenated Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF) stepped forward to assume the chores, looking to pounce on the opportunity to boost Phl volleyball.
“This tournament is aimed at putting the Philippines back in the groove of international volleyball activities,” said PVF chairman and organizing committee head Philip Ella Juico.
The event was launched yesterday via a pressconference with Juico and PVF secretary general Otie Camangian, PLDT Home Broadband VP and PLDT representative to the organizing committee Gary Dujali, and Sports Core Management’s Ramon “Tats” Suzara.
Some 14 to 16 clubs all over the region, led by bets from perennial champions Iran (10 crowns) and contenders Korea (two), Kazakhstan, Qatar and China (one apiece), are expected to compete. Champion of the tourney will represent Asia to the FIVB World Club Championship in May in Brazil.
PLDT myDSL from the Philippine Super Liga (PSL) will carry the fight for Phl. However, non-PLDT and non-PSL players may still vie for slots, according to officials, who have set tryouts on Jan. 15, 18 and 19. The team is also on the look out for two imports.
Pinoy spikers expect a “decent showing” in their first stint in the prestigious tourney, which officials view as a big step towards their goal of returning to the international scene after a long absence.
“We’re happy there’s a reactivation, that men’s volleyball is coming back to life,” said Juico.
Philippine Long Distance Telephone and its subsidiary Fibr, the country’s most powerful broadband, are backing the event as they affirmed commitment to the PVF and its activities.
“Volleyball is a sport played well by Filipinos. We used to be strong contenders in the region – and we hope to become contenders again through the new leadership of the PVF – and our chairman, Manny V. Pangilinan, has committed his support to volleyball, on top of his dedication to support other sports, including boxing, basketball and taekwondo, among many others,” said Dujali.
The Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) will announce the tournament format and conduct the draw by next month also in Manila, according to Suzara, who is also chairman of the AVC development and marketing committee and member of the FIVB development commission.