February 20, 2019 – alike Editorial Team
The local Volleyball community feels played.
Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc. (LVPI) has decided to skip three important regional tournaments. This includes the Asian Volleyball Confederation’s (AVC) Women’s Club Championship, Asian Senior Women’s Championship, and Asian Under-23 Women’s Championship.
LVPI president Peter Cayco is quick to defend this decision. He said this was a well-calculated strategy to conceal the national player’s skills and strengths from the prying eyes of regional rivals. Cayco fears the teams' new players may be scouted elsewhere.
He added that they are only following Indonesia’s example. Cayco explained that the neighboring country has been inactive in Asian tournaments but have managed to bag medals in the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) consistently.
Both the men’s and women’s national teams are reported to train in countries outside Southeast Asia. “This move may be unpopular, but it also shows our eagerness to bring our team back to the medal podium in the SEA Games, which we will host this November,” Cayco said.
Fans had an immediate response to Cayco’s defense. They argued the AVC tourneys offer the fierce level of competition needed by our national athletes to prepare for the SEA Games.
While the governing body has their eyes on the bigger prize, what remains questionable is the direction they chose to develop the sport. Training is not equal to competing, fans emphasized. They believe that the LVPI’s move goes against improving the national team’s ranking, a result of the teams’ continuous exposure in the international arena.
Instead of exposing the athletes to the well-established AVC tourneys, Cayco said they are preparing to launch a new regional competition dubbed as the Southeast Asia Grand Prix. Only four countries from the region would be participating, namely Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
For now, they may currently be undergoing more strenuous practices, but national players are still deprived of opportunities to play for the flag in renowned arenas. This leads supporters and spectators of the sport say Philippine Volleyball needs your support more than ever.
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