New venue for 2019 SEA Games volleyball tournament announced

Saturday, 23 Feb 2019
Lawrence Fernandez - Editor - @lancefernandez

It was earlier reported that the men’s and women’s volleyball competitions for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games will be held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

That won’t be the case anymore as scheduling conflicts made it impossible for the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) to book the venue.

During the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum this month, Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Incorporated President Peter Cayco shared that when the SEA Games inspection committed arrived in the Philippines in December 2018, LVPI Secretary General Ariel Paredes and Asian Volleyball Confederation Southeast Asian Zone Executive Vice President Shanrit Wongprasert went to Araneta to inquire its availability. However, the Big Dome will not be available throughout the tournament due to concert bookings of foreign artists.

With the original venue unavailable, the PHISGOC looked at the Alonte Sports Arena in Binan as an alternate. After all, it has been the home of the 2016 Asian Women’s Club Championship and the 2017 Asian Senior Women’s Championship. The Muntinlupa Sports Complex was also seen as a possible location. However, the organizing committee did not settle with these options.

Now, the venue of the 2019 SEA Games volleyball contests has been finalized. The games will now be held at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

Formerly known as the University of Life Theater and Recreational Arena or ULTRA, Philsports was also considered when Araneta became unavailable. Initially, the roughly 10,000-seater gymnasium in Pasig City was assigned for PHISGOC for netball competitions. Now, it will be the home of indoor volleyball for the biennial sporting event featuring ASEAN member-nations.

Sports fans are familiar with PhilSports. Aside from housing the 2015 AVC Asian Women’s Under-23 Championship and some matches during the inaugural season of the Philippine Superliga, it also served as the home of the Philippine Basketball Association during the 1980s and early 1990s before transferring to the Cuneta Astrodome.

It was also the site of the 2000 FIVB World Grand Prix wherein Brazil’s Leila Barros endeared herself to Filipino volleyball fans.

With a historic venue such as Philsports seeing witness to intense volleyball competition come November and December 2019, Cayco hopes that the Philippine National Team will win its first SEA Games indoor volleyball medal in 14 years.

Indoor volleyball competitions for the 2019 SEA Games will commence on November 28 but will take a break on the last day of that month for the opening ceremonies. In other news, beach volleyball will be conducted in Subic Bay.

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