PH hosts volley nations league, gets to test world-level play
The Philippines will have the chance to see the finest volleyball teams in the world up close—and test its national teams against some of them—when the country hosts the elimination rounds of the FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL).
Philippine National Volleyball Federation president Tats Suzara sealed the hosting bid last week at the FIVB headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, where the Philippines will bring home the top men’s and women’s teams across the globe in June.
“This is part of my 10-point strategy to change the landscape of volleyball here in the Philippines by bringing world-class players and Olympic champions to our country,’’ Suzara told the Inquirer.
The United States, Czech Republic, Iran, Russia, Australia, Netherlands, Brazil, Japan, Canada, Argentina, Poland, Italy, Bulgaria, France and Serbia will see action in the men’s side of the VNL and will play from June 21 to June 26.
Competing in the women’s tournament from June 14 to June 19 are Brazil, United States, Germany, Poland, Canada, Japan, Korea, the Dominican Republic, China, Turkey, Belgium, Serbia, the Netherlands, Russia, Italy and Thailand.
Both divisions will play at Smart Araneta Coliseum, where fans are expected to be present.
“This will really inspire our national team to be better because they will do some exhibition matches also before the start of the hosting,’’ said Suzara.
The Philippine men’s team will get a chance to test itself against Argentina and Germany in a pair of friendlies, while the women’s squad faces Canada and either USA or Japan prior to the hosting of the VNL.
“These are friendly matches to promote the VNL and, at the same time, it also gives quality competition to our national teams to improve our level to world-class,’’ said Suzara.