PH volleyball: Time to form a national team again
MANILA, Philippines -- It is the sweetest victory for a volleyball fan. For the past years, Philippine volleyball has surged in terms of popularity, acceptance and focus. The former poor sport has now emerged to be one of the well-followed sports in the Philippines – joining the ranks of basketball, football and boxing. For us, die-hard fanatics, we have seen this coming way back and no victory is sweeter than seeing your prevision comes to life.
It is truly our sweetest but it will not hurt if we ask for more.
Recently, the news talking about the current development for local volleyball swept the online world. According to it, the PVF is finally forming the country’s newest national team. Although there was little to no effort from the officials to confirm the information, it still fanned the desire of supporters to see the ‘Bomberinas’ take on a much bigger arena other than home; majority of whom cited the ripened status of the sport in the country as well as the rising numbers of the sport’s local superstars.
Turning point in PH volleyball
This may sound desperate but for us fans such development marks a momentous turning point in Philippine volleyball. We don’t say this just to feed our volleyball fandom or to indulge ourselves into the fantasy of our volleyball idols playing and winning in international tournaments. We say this because it is but fitting to see the original architects of ‘set and spike’ return to world stage.
Also, whether we like it or not, international tournaments are legitimate barometers for athletic competitiveness. It is time we measure ourselves according to their sticks. Compared to our counterparts in Southeast Asia, our volleyball program desperately needs a revamp. Sadly, recent data show that we are extremely lagging compared to others. Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia rank competitively in world statistics. Thailand is even in the top 20 worldwide. On the other hand, we are ranked 112th – the lowest tile in the standings.
Fortunately, this poor standing does not reflect the status of volleyball in the Philippines today. With its massive fan base and legions of private lobbyists, the landscape now is primed more than ever. It is even poised to become a new sports frontier for our country. We cannot afford to upset such clamor. More than anything else, the government should exhaust this popularity and begin the exodus back to the bigger arena.
It boils down to initiative
Do we fear trying? Do we fear that our athletes may not be as competitive as our regional rivals? We shouldn’t let ourselves be doomed by uncertain problems for there is no more fearful than a world of “what-ifs”. Yes, we may not be as good as Thailand for now but that is the very essence of our plea. Exposure to international competitions can develop our athletes. We may be excellent locally but what about when pitted against more experienced teams outside our backyard?
It all boils down to initiative. The fans can shout until their voices break. The fans can carry massive posters until they falter. But they can only do so much. Still, the effort should come from relevant institutions bearing the power to tip the scales for Philippine volleyball. Unless they act, what we can only do is to wait for the Bomberinas playing in international leagues for a little while. And I hope every fan can be as patient as I can be. - Rappler.com
Yvan Limson is a recent graduate of Journalism from the University of the Philippines Diliman. He is an occasional volleyball player and a sports enthusiast.