Philippine volleyball

‘Everybody wins’: Veloso urges PH to make most of historic FIVB World Championship hosting

JR Isaga

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‘Everybody wins’: Veloso urges PH to make most of historic FIVB World Championship hosting

SKYROCKETING. Filipino spiker Marck Espejo attempts an attack over the Taiwan defense in the 2023 AVC Challenge Cup

Asian Volleyball Confederation

Philippine men's volleyball team head coach Sergio Veloso pleads organizers to prepare well for the country's historic hosting of the 2025 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship, where the world's best teams will play

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine volleyball will be placed under the biggest international spotlight it will ever get in 2025 as the nation won a historic bid to host the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship.

Essentially the equivalent of the FIBA World Cup in basketball, the Volleyball World Championship will feature 32 of the world’s best in the men’s game, including the likes of world No. 1 Poland, No. 2 USA, and No. 4 Japan.

Philippine men’s team head coach Sergio Veloso is cautiously ecstatic about the opportunity, as it puts the hosts on a global pedestal unlike anything it has seen before, albeit with massive added responsibilities for the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) and other organizers.

“Everybody wins in this situation. We get more sponsors, we get more fans. I think this is the most important for now. The World Championship is a very, very good opportunity to do this,” he said.

“I don’t know if we can go for the second round. We’ll play with the best of the best national teams in the world. But as I said here and the guys know that, no matter who plays in the other side, we’ll do our best. If you want to win, you need to play.”

Although still more than a year away, Veloso is already thinking about the best team he can assemble for the world championships, but the Brazilian mentor insists that there will be no shoo-ins, and that everyone needs to fight for his spot.

“For me, no matter, if you’re senior or a beginner, you need to show me your best,” he continued.

“Who’s famous? (Bryan) Bagunas, (Marck) Espejo, but in the last season (Jau) Umandal showed me that he can play and after that when Bagunas and Espejo returned, they need to fight with Umandal for the position. It’s good because this is a good fight.”

Veloso likewise insisted that in the buildup to the World Championships, the FIVB needs to fix its organizational structure and calendars to match the rest of the world, which, to the federation’s credit, it’s already doing.

“I think it’s a very, very good opportunity for Philippine volleyball. When I started my work with the national team, I saw a lot of little, bad situations, like ‘Oh we have a SEA Games last year’ and in the same date of the SEA Games, we have a UAAP finals. In the [other] national teams, they got the best players.”

“Everybody must understand [it’s] not only the coach, not only the manager, but everybody who works in the volleyball [programs] are the most important. If we have a strong national team, what will happen? We can split this for the college [players], for the other groups and everybody can work together.” –

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