The Philippines has completed its comeback in the regional volleyball scene when it was appointed by the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) to host the 2014 Asian Men’s Volleyball Club Championship presented by PLDT-Fibr on April 8 to 16.
The appointment, which came after Vietnam backed out of its hosting assignment, also signals the renewal of commitment by a rejuvenated Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF), whose new leadership is currently in overdrive to form the national pools for men and women.
The tournament was made top priority by the PVF, which quickly formed an Organizing Committee composed of highly-respected sports personalities and sought support from PLDT, which is among the few top corporate
sponsors of sporting events.
Former Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman Philip Ella Juico accepted the chairmanship of the Organizing Committee and his involvement is expected to boost the Philippines’ standing in the AVC.
Juico, who also served as an agrarian reform secretary, a TOYM awardee and currently chairman of the PVF and the Philippine Super Liga, aside from being president of the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club, is active in restoring the country’s status with the FIVB (International Volleyball Federation) and the AVC after long years of inactivity by the PVF from international competitions.
“This tournament is aimed at putting the Philippines back in the groove of international volleyball
activities,” said Juico, who also announced during the tournament’s media launch at The Fort the reorganization of the national teams for men and women.
“A grassroots project is also now in place to complement the PVF’s general program, including the structures for the standard teams for men and women and also beach volleyball,” Juico added. “We are looking at more participation in regional and international meets on top of maintaining our good financial standing before the FIVB and the AVC.
And since this is the first time the Philippines is competing in and hosting the tournament, PVF president Karl Chan has appointed SportsCore Event Management and Consultancy, Inc. (Score) to handle the conduct of the event.
Chan said his trust in Score president Ramon Suzara’s experience in organizing and managing sports events of this magnitude will aid in the PVF’s aim of regaining its status as among the most active and productive local sports associations and make the Philippine teams contenders again at least in the Southeast Asian region.
“This tournament is already a big step being taken by the PVF. We are awed by the project, but this is an opportunity that we could not let pass” Chan said. “We owe it to the AVC, our sponsors and the Organizing Committee that we are being recognized as capable of hosting a big event such as the Asian Men’s Club Championship.”
Philippine Long Distance Telephone and its subsidiary Fibr, the country’s most powerful broadband, are backing the event as they affirmed commitment in providing the sport of volleyball a boost.
Gary Dujali, VP and head of PLDT Home Broadband, said: “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.”
Suzara said he expects 14-16 teams to be represented in the meet, with Iran still the favorite to win its 10th crown since it joined the tournament in 1999.