international volleyball

PH vies for lone FIVB World Club volleyball slot in tough Asian tilt

Beatrice Go
PH vies for lone FIVB World Club volleyball slot in tough Asian tilt

ALL SET. The Rebisco and Choco Mucho teams looks to represent the country well in the continental club tournament.

Philippine National Volleyball Federation

The winner of the Asian club championships will compete in the world tournament in December

The Philippines will kick off its 2021 Asian Club Volleyball Championships campaign on Friday, October 1 in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand for a chance to qualify for a single slot in the world championships.

The country will field the Rebisco men’s and women’s volleyball teams and Choco Mucho as the the second women’s squad, which will aim for berths in the 2021 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship in Ankara, Turkey on December 15 to 19.

The women’s tournament will be staged first on October 1 to 7, followed by the men’s competition on October 8 to 14.

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This will be the first time the country will see action in an international volleyball tournament since the Philippines’ hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

After finishing fourth and last in the regional biennial meet, the women’s side is set to feature a revamped team under the mentorship of Brazilian coach Jorge Souza de Brito, who will lead Rebisco, and Odjie Mamon, who will steer Choco Mucho.

Choco Much, bunched in Pool A, will go head-to-head with home team Nakhon Ratchasima QminC and Kazakhstan’s Zhetysu.

The Thai club, which finished runner-up in the 2020-2021 season of the Thailand Volleyball League and 2019 Thai-Denmark Super League, takes the top seed.

On the other hand, Zhetysu, which holds the most titles in the Kazakhstan women’s volleyball league with nine championships, is another formidable foe.

Rebisco will see action in Pool B which includes Thailand’s Super Chonburi, Kazakhstan’s Altay Volleyball Club, and Iran’s Saipa Tehran.

Though Super Chonburi finished third in the last staging of the Thailand League, it remains the team to beat, having bagged two Asian Championship titles, three Thailand League championships, and three Super League titles.

Altay was crowned as the latest champion of Kazakhstan’s top tier league and hopes to ride on the hot momentum.

Saipa Tehran has not won a title in the Iranian Volleyball Super League, but had seven runner-up finishes in the league’s history.

Despite being up against tough competition, the Philippines will showcase its young talents led by Eya Laure, who will be playing alongside veterans like Dindin Santiago-Manabat and Rhea Dimaculangan.

Alyssa Valdez, who has been part of the senior national team since 2013, was not given a slot in the Philippine squad together with setter Jia Morado.

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Even without national team firepower Marck Espejo and Bryan Bagunas, the men’s side of Rebisco hopes to pull off another surprise run after clinching a historic silver in the 2019 SEA Games.

The men’s team, still mentored by Dante Alinsunurin, is finally given the opportunity to test its mettle against Asian opponents. –

Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.