Gilas women, men's volleyball squad defy gender roles after SEA Games success

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Gilas women, men's volleyball squad defy gender roles after SEA Games success
The Philippine men's volleyball team and the Gilas Pilipinas women's squad both took big wins in the 30th Southeast Asian Games
Philstar.com / Luisa Morales / Erwin Cagadas Jr.

MANILA, Philippines — It has been a long-standing assumption in the world of sports that basketball is for men and volleyball is for women, with their counterparts getting the short end of the stick more often than not.

But with the recent success of the Gilas Pilipinas women's squad and the men's volleyball team in the Southeast Asian Games, they are reaping out results that can no longer be ignored.

Led by head coach Pat Aquino, the Gilas women clinched the gold medal after routing Thailand, 91-71, for their first-ever SEA Games title.

The men's volleyball squad, for their part, ended a 42-year-old Finals drought in the beinnial meet after dethroning Thailand in a grueling five setter.

Both parties hope that these breakthrough victories earn them the support that they have always vied for and deserve.

"I'm just so happy for the girls for what they achieved. Now we hope na mapansin niyo na kami," said Gilas women coach Aquino after the team's gold medal clinching win.

"We've been dreaming of that since day one that we handled the national team na sana we make it great for women... Now that we are here, now that we achieved the gold that we are supposed to do, let's not just let this pass by," he added.

John Vic de Guzman, skipper for the men's volleyball team, echoed the same sentiments for his squad.

"Mas masarap sa pakiramdam yung suporta ng lahat ng tao, lahat ng Pilipino na nanuod sa amin ngayon. Iyon din naman yung plano namin from the very start — yung tumaas yung men's volleyball sa industriya ng volleyball," he said.

"Sana magtuluy-tuloy tsaka salamat po sa lahat ng Pilipinong naniwala po at saka nag-cheer. Iba po yung naglalaro sa court na ang daming sumisigaw [para] sa iyo," he added.

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