Joey voted to AVC Board
SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson (The Philippine Star) - November 21, 2015 - 9:00am

Larong Volleyball Sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI) and POC first vice president Joey Romasanta was recently elected to the 21-strong Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Board of Administration during the General Assembly in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Philippines was represented in the convention by Romasanta, LVPI vice president Peter Cayco of the NCAA, LVPI secretary-general Ricky Palou of the Shakey’s V-League and Philippine SuperLiga (PSL) president Tats Suzara as the AVC sports development and marketing committee chairman.

Romasanta said it was a distinct honor for the Philippines to make it to the Board particularly as LVPI was recognized as the NSA for volleyball by the POC, AVC and FIVB (International Volleyball Federation) only this year. It was on the instance of China’s Wei Jizhong, former FIVB and AVC president, that LVPI was organized. Jizhong is an influential figure in world volleyball with the prestigious titles of AVC honorary life president and Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) honorary life vice president.

Now that volleyball is booming in the Philippines, Romasanta’s election will be another boost to sustain interest in the sport. Romasanta said with the successful staging of the Asian U23 Women’s Championships in Manila last May, LVPI has received offers to host more international competitions next year, including the World Women’s Club, the World U19 Women’s and Asian Women’s Club Championships.

Romasanta said Suzara was reappointed as AVC sports development and marketing committee chairman during the General Assembly. Suzara’s position is another feather in the Philippines’ cap.

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Aside from the election of the Board, Romasanta said the General Assembly reviewed and confirmed the calendar of coming events and reaffirmed certain rules, including the provision for two liberos for a team with over 12 players. Adding prestige to the General Assembly was the presence of FIVB president Dr. Ary Graca of Brazil and Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) president Sheikh Ahmed Al Fahad Al Ahmed Al Sabah of Kuwait. Reelected AVC president unopposed was Dr. Saleh Bin Nasser of Saudi Arabia.

AVC was established in 1952 and lists 65 member countries which are represented in five divisions – Central Asia (including Southern Asia and Iran), Eastern Asia, Oceania, Southeastern Asia (where the Philippines belongs) and Western Asia. Voted to the Board for the Western Asia zone were Essa Hamza Ahmad of Kuwait, Ibrahim Malik Mohammed of the United Arab Emirates, Khalid Ali Al Mawlawi of Qatar and Jehad Hasan Khlafan of Bahrain. The Central zone is represented by Dr. Reza Davarzani of Iran, Chaudhary Avadhesh Kumar of India, Yermek Syrlybayev of Kazakhstan and Mohamed Riyaz of Maldives. Elected for the Eastern zone were Cai Yi of China, Dr. Eom Han Joo of Korea, Kenji Kimura of Japan and Wang Kuei Shiang of Chinese-Taipei.

Romasanta is joined by Shanrit Wongprasert of Thailand and Tran Duc Phan of Vietnam in the Southeastern Asia zone. The three representatives for Oceania are Craig Carracher of Australia, Hugh Graham of the Cook Islands and Terry Sasser of the Marshall Islands. In keeping with the IOC directive of assuring female representation, Fong Sok Van Alice Oliver of Macau and Rita Subowo of Indonesia were named to the Board.

Romasanta said this year, LVPI made good on its promise to AVC to participate in a series of international competitions. A big achievement was returning to the Southeast Asian Games in men’s and women’s volleyball after a sit-out of four editions and 10 years. The other competitions where the Philippines was represented were the Asian Men’s U23 in Myanmar, the Asian Senior Women’s in Beijing and Tianjin, the Asian Men’s Club in Taipei and the Asian Women’s Club Championships in Vietnam. Romasanta said the Philippines would’ve also played at the Asian Senior Men’s Championships in Tehran but received permission from AVC to back out.

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Romasanta said he will attend the National Sports Stakeholders Forum in Cebu, sponsored by the PSC, tomorrow. He will speak on the POC’s role in promoting sports development during the two-day conference involving representatives from the Department of Education and local government units.

Romasanta said on Nov. 27-Dec. 4, Manila will host the “Spike For Peace” Indoor International Beach Volleyball Exhibition with the Philippines fielding two teams against 11 foreign squads from the US, Australia, Japan and Europe and other Asian countries at the PhilSports Complex. The exhibition is putting up prize money of $25,000. Chief organizer is Cebu-based American sports enthusiast Eric LeCain.

“LVPI will participate in ‘Spike For Peace’ as technical supervisor to provide referees, officials and equipment,” said Romasanta. “We’ll make sure the games are conducted according to the rules. We understand a sanction fee of $2,500 has been paid to FIVB for this exhibition. It is important that this event, as in all other similar events, is sanctioned by AVC because without sanction, players who participate may be subjected to suspension as well as their national federations.”

Romasanta said LVPI has designated Oliver Almadro to act as coordinating coach for the two Philippine beach volleyball teams, one from the V-League and the other from the PSL. “No coach is allowed during a beach volleyball game but we appointed Oliver to take care of training the two teams which will spar with each other to prepare for the competition,” he said. “We expect to host another successful international volleyball event, this time in beach volleyball which is an Olympic sport.”

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