Philippine volleyball team files SEA Games protest, seeks gender test for Indonesian star
Philippine women's volleyball team manager Ricky Palou is seeking a gender test for Indonesian player Aprilia Santini Manganang. Photo from Mangarang's Facebook fan page

SINGAPORE — The Philippines has officially put under protest the inclusion of Aprilia Santini Manganang in the Indonesian women’s volleyball team in the 28th Southeast Asian Games, seeking a gender test for the player.

Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas Inc. (LVPI) secretary general Ricky Palou confirmed a protest has been filed before technical officials on Monday night ahead of the start of the much-anticipated women’s volleyball competition on Wednesday.

When asked what are the grounds for the the Philippine protest, Palou said, “Gender nung isang player ng Indonesia.”

“Mag-gegender test sila. Nasa medical na daw ‘yung papel,” Palou added, pointing to the SEA Games Medical Commission.

The Philippines is questioning the gender of Manganang, who the national coaching staff claimed has the skills and power of a male player.

[See PH coach Gorayeb wary of one Indonesian player. Find out why]

Incidentally, the celebrated women’s volleyball team opens its campaign against Indonesia on Wednesday at the OCBC Arena.

“Nakita ko ‘yung player. Nakita niyo ba? Lalake itsura,” said Palou.

Palou is unfazed by the possibility that the result of the gender test will not be known immediately, saying Indonesia’s victories could be nullified if the Indonesian player flunks the gender test.

“If they could come out with the results, baka hindi na (makalaro). Pero kung hindi, sabi nung technical delegate, kapag pinalaro tapos nag-positive ‘yung protest natin, default lahat ng laro nila,” said Palou.

“Play at your own risk,” said Palou.

Manganang has been described in various volleyball sites as a hermaphrodite, but national coach Roger Gorayeb is unfazed going to the two teams' match-up.

"Napakalakas ‘nun. Para kang naglagay ng lalaki sa laro ng mga babae," said Gorayeb, who coach a team against a Manganang-led Indonesian side in the Asian qualifier for the world championship in Vietnam in 2009.

"Pero kahit anong mangyari — nandyan man siya o wala — lalaban pa din tayo. Paghahandaaan natin ‘yan."

PH coach Roger Gorayeb says Manganang plays with the power and skills of a man, stopping short of questioning her gender.
PH coach Roger Gorayeb says Manganang plays with the power and skills of a man, stopping short of questioning her gender.

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