Gilas pool’s volleyball version on the horizon
Volleyball will soon have its version of basketball’s Gilas Pilipinas.
Peter Cayco, vice president of the sport’s governing body, Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI), said yesterday they would soon hold a tournament for players 19 years and younger to select members of the national training pool.
Cayco also said a sponsor is needed to help send the team to tournaments overseas.
The Gilas national team of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) banks on the support of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and the group companies controlled by tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan in sending the national team to competitions abroad.
“Instead of playing for the clubs, they will suit up for the national team,” Cayco said during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) forum held at Shakey’s Ermita.
He explained that the corporate sponsors would pay for the players’ monthly allowances and the team’s expenses.
The SBP maintains a Gilas cadet team whose players, the majority of whom comefrom the collegiate ranks, receive monthly allowances.
“The income of the players [in the volleyball pool] will not be that big, but at least they are playing for the country,” said Cayco.
LVPI president Joey Romasanta said the move to form a team modeled after the Gilas program was proposed after injuries plagued the squad that competed in the Singapore Southeast Asian Games last June.
“Based on our experience in the SEA Games, the quality of the players’ performances will suffer if they’re overexposed,” said Romasanta. “We must form a team dedicated to playing for the national team.”
Aside from participating in the Philippine Super Liga and Shakey’s V-League, top volleyball players also see action in beach volley tournaments, exposing young stars to injury and accelerated wear and tear.