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PH volley chief targets 2023 for SEA Games gold

Ramon Suzara, president of the newly formed Philippine National Volleyball Federation Inc, has set his eyes on 2023 as the year the country will snap its gold-medal drought in the Southeast Asian Games.

The Philippines has not won a SEA Games gold medal in volleyball since the women's team reigned supreme in 1993.

In front of a supportive home crowd in 2019, the men's team had a chance to end that dry spell, but it fell short of the grand prize following a sweep to Indonesia in the finals.

Meanwhile, the women's team landed outside the podium anew at 4th place in the previous SEA Games, with its last medal finish coming in 2005.

"[The] 2023 Cambodia SEA Games will be my very good target for gold in men and women," Suzara said during the Philippine Sportswriters' Association Forum on Tuesday, February 9.

While there is still the 2021 SEA Games in Vietnam to compete in, Suzara sees 2023 as the more realistic edition to win a gold medal. (READ: FIVB officially recognizes Philippine volleyball federation)

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, all competitive volleyball leagues have been put on the shelves and national team players have yet to train again.

"[W]e will do our best in the Vietnam SEA Games, but it is not very positive because the players are [idle]," Suzara said in a mix of English and Filipino.

"It is not just us but also Vietnam and Thailand," Suzara added. "It will be a balanced competition in Vietnam in all sports, including volleyball."

Suzara also wants both men's and women's teams to crack the top 8 in the Asian volleyball rankings in the next two years. – Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.

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