The Beach Volleyball Republic returns after a two-year hiatus as the first of two legs fires off on Friday, October 22, in a bubble setup at the famed resort town here.
A total of 25 teams – 14 in the women and 11 men’s division – are vying for the championship in the October 22 to 25 competition. Games will start at 8 am. The second and final leg will be played on October 28 to 31 at the same Santa Ana venue.
Charo Soriano, one of the BVR founders, expressed confidence that the restart will boost the sport as it tries to sustain the gains it achieved in the 30th Southeast Asian Games in 2019, where the men’s and women’s squads earned podium finishes.
The BVR on Tour will be a part of the national women’s and men’s teams’ preparation for the Asian Seniors Beach Volleyball Championship, where the Philippines will participate on November 23 to 27 in Phuket, Thailand.
“Apart from sports really trying to come back, I think right now the message that we want to give out to the public, the majority, and the audience, the stakeholders of volleyball is that sports is a catalyst of hope,” said Soriano, who is also the Philippine National Volleyball Federation’s Beach Volleyball chairperson.
“By doing this, it gives a lot of hope to our community… we want to be able to show them that there are things that we still can do and look forward to even during the pandemic.”
Competing in the women’s side are Creamline, PLDT, TM, Biogenic, Eastern Communications, Toyota-Tuguegarao, Black Mamba Army, Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors, Boysen, Delimondo, and Good Health-CDO.
In the men’s field, Creamline, PLDT, ARMY-FSD Makati, DeliRush, Tuguegarao, EVI Construction, and Negros Occidental Beach Volleyball Club will see action.
Games will be streamed live on the Puso Pilipinas and Smart Sports Facebook pages and YouTube channels.
The event will be held under strict health and safety protocols where members of the BVR delegation underwent RT-PCR test three days before entering the bubble, and antigen test upon entry.
“A lot of us who are doing this, organizing this, have been sacrificing more than usual. To organize an event is already difficult in itself, what more, organizing an event during the pandemic. So everybody needs to give a little bit of something extra than usual. That for me, I think is such a beautiful thing,” said Soriano.
“To see people cooperating, participating, and really going the extra mile just to make this happen. Again it’s all for us to feel that semblance of hope that things can be normal again for everybody.”
This will be the fifth time – and the first since 2018 – that Santa Ana, Cagayan will host the BVR on Tour, which is sponsored by Puso Pilipinas, Smart Sports, Santa Ana LGU, Tuguegarao LGU, Cagayan Board Member Aj Ponce, Cagayan 1st District Rep. Junjun Nolasco, TikTok Philippines, EVI Construction, Savepoint Plus, Xentro Mall, Toyota Tuguegarao, Ibuprofen Paracetamol Alaxan FR, and supported by the Philippine National Volleyball Federation.
Soriano knows that despite beach volleyball being in its infancy in the country, the players are becoming more competitive. And the resurgence of BVR will help the game rise.
“We want to be able to provide them a platform so that our sport will grow. That’s where the hope lies, in the efforts that we do everyday,” said Soriano. – Rappler.com
For updates on the the Santa Ana leg, follow BVR’s social media accounts.