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Philippine volleyball squads face packed schedules

September 14, 2021 | 3:37pm

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine volleyball is in for a busy stretch amid the still ongoing pandemic with upcoming international stints starting next month and breakthrough local events from there on.

The Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) said three national leagues are in line starting in November on top of its participation in the AVC Asian Club Volleyball Championship next month in Thailand, where it will be sending three squads.

The three local tilts are the National Champions League for Men and Women in November and the National Beach Volleyball League in December, which according to PNVF president Tats Suzara, will only bring the game closer to other regions outside Metro Manila.

“The objective of the Champions League is to bring regional teams to these events,” said Suzara in the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum presented by San Miguel Corp. (SMC), Milo, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR).

The PNVF said it is already finalizing the cast with teams all the way from Negros, Davao, Zamboanga and Baguio expected to strut their stuff against the country’s finest clubs.

The federation is looking at eight women and six men squads with 16 pairs each in the men’s and women’s division of the beach volley joust.

“So this will be the first time that a national league will cater not only to Metro Manila but also to other provinces,” added Suzara, who was joined in the forum by national team coaches Jorge Edson Souza de Brito, Odjie Mamon and Dante Alinsunurin.

The national women’s teams (Rebisco and Choco Mucho) and the men’s team (Rebisco) are in the thick of their preparations under a bubble set-up in Batangas for the AVC set October 1-7 in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.

After that, the PNVF eyes more exposure for the national teams in the United States and Europe under a long-term program.

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