File photo of the Philippine national women's volleyball team
STAR/Jun Mendoza
Group calls for concrete Philippine volleyball program
Dante Navarro ( - December 13, 2019 - 7:32pm

MANILA, Philippines – As clamor for unity in volleyball mounts following the men’s team’s amazing silver-medal finish in the just-concluded SEA Games coupled with the much-hyped women’s side failed bid to medal, Sports Vision Management Group Inc. on Friday night said there’s no such accord to be forged.

Instead, the SVMGI, which revived the once dormant sport in 2004 and turned it into what it is now, called on the sport’s national association to come up with a concrete program for the national teams so as not to disrupt the schedules of the major stakeholders of the sport, specifically the Premier Volleyball League and the Philippine Superliga, which have been holding their year-long tournaments the last few years.

“I do not understand why people keep on talking about unity in women’s volleyball,” said SVMGI president Ricky Palou. “The SVMGI has always been very supportive of the national teams.

“As far as we’re concerned, we want the best players and coaches for our national team. All we’re asking for is for LVPI (Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc.) to give us the training and tournament schedules of the national teams ahead of time, by the start of the year, so we can adjust our schedules as well.

“Unfortunately, I don’t think LVPI has a real training program for the national teams.

That is why our national teams are not ready and prepared when we compete in international events,” he added.

Through the Shakey’s V-League in 2004, SVGMI vowed to harness the available material, bring back the glory days of women’s volleyball and eventually take it to greater heights.

After 13 seasons, it was renamed the Philippine V-League and then the Premier Volleyball League in 2017, with SVMGI still as its organizer, while the PSL launched the first pro corporate club volley league in 2013.

In 2014, the Shakey’s V-League introduced a men’s division before SVMGI decided to spin off the men’s division as a separate league the following year, thus giving birth to the Spikers’ Turf, where the core of the SEAG silver medalists honed their skills and talent, led by former collegiate stars Bryan Bagunas (National University) and Marck Espejo (Ateneo).

The Philippine men’s squad dethroned many-time SEAG champ Thailand in the semis but fell short against a more experienced Indonesian side in their gold medal match. The setback, however, proved that Filipino players can now be ranged against the regional powerhouse teams given the proper support and exposure.

This developed as the PVL and PSL have recently agreed to compete in a national tournament beginning July 2020 in both a reinforced and all-Filipino conferences that will follow each league’s respective tournaments.

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