PNVF wants ‘stable’ PH women’s volleyball program

Philippine women’s volleyball team in the SEA VLeague. SEA VLEAGUE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Volleyball Federation president Tats Suzara hopes for a stable women’s volleyball team program and a unified calendar with the Premier Volleyball League and college teams after not meeting the deadline of the Asian Games that led to the squad’s non-participation.

The women’s indoor volleyball team is the lone squad from the PNVF that will not participate in the Asiad in Hangzhou, China starting next week as Suzara bared that they didn’t meet the deadline due to the availability of the players.

The federation chief continues to stress the importance the aligning the leagues’ calendar to the Fivb national team period from May 16 to October 15, wherein national team competitions take precedence.

“I hope in the future the women’s (team) will be stable since we have a lot of issues with PVL players on their own clubs and at the same time with the universities,” said Suzara.

Last June, the PNVF last June recommended the PVL to refrain “from contracting foreign quest players requiring to undergo the International Transfer Certificate procedure for 2023” which led to the pro league’s cancelation of the Reinforced Conference, holding a second All-Filipino Conference in October this year.

The PVL has been lending its players to the national teams for the past tournaments as the first All-Filipino Conference ended before the 32nd Southeast Asian Games with an all-pro team bannering the Philippine team composed of seven Creamline players.

In the AVC Challenge Cup for Women in Indonesia last June, the nationals were represented by Akari players and other clubs in their seventh-place finish as the PVL Invitational Conference was moved to a later date due to the Asian tournament.

The PNVF tapped the core of National University, led by Bella Belen, Alyssa Solomon, and Vange Alinsug, to play for the country in the two Southeast Asian (SEA) VLeague and Asian women’s senior championship in Thailand.

The young team ended up winless in six games in the VLeague and placed 13th place finish in the 14-team Asian Championship two weeks ago but Suzara was happy with the line-up, hoping La Salle would lend its players after rookie-MVP Angel Canino, Shevana Laput, and Thea Gagate led the Lady Spikers to an amazing UAAP Season 85 championship run.

“I’m happy that the team that we sent to the SEA V-League, although they’re very tired because of the two SEA VLeague legs in Vietnam and Thailand and the Asian championship,” the federation president said. “So With NU, UP, with Ateneo and I hope La Salle can contribute. We’re waiting for them to contribute.”

“I’m hoping to have a dream team for the women’s especially if we win the bid by October or November to host the Women’s World Championship 2025,” he added.

The PNVF is sticking to the younger core and looking to add Filipino-American players to the team later this year, just like what it did in the men’s program when breakout star Steven Rotter joined the squad.

“In fact, we will continue the program with the Fil-Ams. Hopefully, by the end of the year, there will be an available Fil-Am for the women’s (team). Nag-aaral pa kasi so I can only see them by December,” Suzara said. “For the men’s, we will continue. We have Rotter who has been progressive. We have Ryan Ka, who’s been progressive. We will continue to find players that are really tall and could contribute to our team for the future. These are the things that we will not stop doing.”

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