Much criticism was shared by volleyball fans when the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Incorporated finalized its non-participation in this year’s indoor volleyball tournaments by the Asian Volleyball Confederation.
However, the sport’s national governing body in the Philippines has a reason behind not joining the Asian Women’s Club Championship, the Asian Women’s Under-23 Championship, and the Asian Senior Women’s Championship.
LVPI President Peter Cayco said that skipping the AVC competitions prevents other Southeast Asian teams from scouting our players, in particular Filipino-Americans Kalei Mau and Alohi Robins-Hardy. This is the same approach done by Indonesia which continues to win SEA Games medals even though they are not as active during Asian tournaments.
With a grueling battle expected for the upcoming SEA Games in the Philippines, the Philippine National Teams will undergo intense training camps in Japan and Korea. These initiatives have already been relayed by LVPI vice president Joey Romasanta to Asian Volleyball Confederation Secretary General Shanrit Wongprasert.
Cayco shared that most fans might not agree with these moves but this will help the men’s and the women’s National Team to prepare better for the volleyball competitions later this year.
There is also an initiative to have the Under-23 squad to participate in a home-and-away tournament called the Southeast Asian Grand Prix. Other nations joining this competition are Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand.
The LVPI wants to expose the future of Philippine volleyball to competitions like the SEA Grand Prix to get them used to playing against the best teams Southeast Asia has to offer.
The Asian Women’s Club Volleyball Championship will be held in Tianjin, China from April 27 to May 5. Meanwhile, the Asian Women’s Under-23 Championship will be on July 13-21 in Hanoi, Vietnam. Finally, the Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship will be on August 17-25 in Seoul, South Korea.
Other AVC indoor volleyball competitions lined up for the year are the Asian Men’s Club Volleyball Championship on April 18-26 at Taipei and the Asian Senior Men’s Volleyball Championship on September 13-21 in Tehran, Iran.