PH volleyball NSA plans for sustainability of national team program
MANILA, Philippines—The creation of the new national sports association for volleyball, the Philippine National Volleyball Federation, also comes with renewed mentality when it comes to the national team.
Back then, the country’s national volleyball teams were created months before a major competition and would then be dissolved after a said meet was finished.
But that would be changed according to PNVF Board Member Charo Soriano.
Unlike the previous years, national teams will now have a dedicated pool of players whose main focus is to represent the Philippines internationally.
“We’ve already actually started is form and organize a team commission wherein the commission will be in charge of making sure that the programs for the national teams, both junior and senior, for volleyball and beach volleyball will be sustainable in the future,” said Soriano in a Zoom interview with Inquirer Saturday.
“It’s not a fly by night team or when you gather everybody several months before the tournament and you ask them to come together, train together for several weeks, and you send them off to the tournament.”
The last time the Philippines created a pool of players was in March 2019 as the country prepared for its hosting of that year’s Southeast Asian Games.
Pools were created for the men’s, women’s and women’s under-23 with the male team winning silver in the regional meet. Things, however, took a halt in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to all sports.
Soriano added that having a dedicated pool for the national team will not only preserve the country’s international ranking but also help with the players’ and coaches’ mental state during times of lull between competitions.
“Fly by night instances can also have detrimental effects not only on the ranking of the team but also on the players and coaches’ emotional and mental state,” said Soriano.
While the previous national teams already had an under-23 pool, Soriano said that the next pools will also include squads for the younger age divisions.
This will allow players in the national pools to train under the system and have a trajectory to eventually get into the senior squads with the top members of the under-23 even joining the men’s or women’s teams in international competitions.
“The sustainability of the national program will not only focus on the seniors but also in other categories, much like the under-23, under-18, under-16,” said Soriano.
Another facet that the PNVF is working on, Soriano said, is the scheduling of club and collegiate leagues so as it won’t overlap with international competitions in the future.
Soriano said that league scheduling was what PNVF President Ramon “Tats” Suzara wanted to address.
“What Sir Tats wants the federation to do is fix the event calendar of the year and that’s very important,” said Soriano. “You have witnessed in the past years, in the past decade perhaps, there’s a lot of overlap when it comes to commercial leagues, the university leagues, and at the same time the international tournaments.”
Practices typically bore the brunt of this scheduling mess as some players couldn’t commit to the national team daily due to club commitments or the younger ones failed to have enough time with the squad as they’re still student-athletes.
“The only way for us to move forward and be seamless with the sporting program for the national team is if everybody is one the same page.”