The Philippines needs to have a strong national men’s and women’s teams to get the attention of the world, and a lot of support from the international volleyball community, as well.
International Volleyball Federation president Ary Graca said this during his visit to the country as the Philippines plays host to two preliminary rounds of the Volleyball Nations League’s men’s and women’s matches.
“To have the attention of the public and the world, you must have a product. And it’s the national team,” said Graca, during a huddle with scribes at the Grand Hyatt Hotel at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City.
Graca spoke of the development of volleyball with Philippine National Volleyball Federation president Ramon “Tats” Suzara, FIVB general director Fabio Acevedo and Asian Volleyball Federation president Rita Subowo.
The FIVB chief said Filipino spikers need not be Olympic champions as they develop their game as members of the national squads, but they need to be competitive internationally.
“You don’t have to be Olympic champions in five years. But you have to start now,” added Graca.
Acevedo seconded Graca’s words about the Philippines’ development in the sport, by complimenting the success of the country’s hosting the VNL.
“The beauty of the hosting is that you can show the local community the standards of world volleyball. And you can inspire a new generation of fans and athletes,” said Acevedo, who believes that with the right exposure, the quality of the games of the national squads will soon improve.
“FIVB supports national federations in that direction, so that national teams will be able to play worldwide, and their countries (of origin) can host big events as well,” stated Acevedo.
The PNVF has been hosting Week 2 of the women’s preliminary round of the VNL from June 14 to 19 and Week 2 of the men’s pool matches from June 21 to 26.
Both tournaments drew the world’s top eight volleyball nations for both genders.
Quezon City is among four cities will play hosts in the men’s and women’s division of the VNL.