TEAMS from Uzbekistan and South Korea were first to arrive in Manila for the Asian Women's Under23 Volleyball Championship.
Titleholder China and teams from Kazakhstan, Iran, Macau, Thailand, India, Japan and Chinese Taipei planed in late Wednesday, eager to make in instant impact in this prestigious tournament which comes off the wraps on Friday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI) president Jose Romasanta welcomed the foreign contingents as well as the technical delegates from the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC), who sat down with the local organizers for the joint technical committee and control committee meetings.
"Everything is green and go," said Romasanta, who personally welcomed AVC control committee chairman Hyung-Bin Yim Tuesday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ortigas.
"The preparation for this major continental tournament is already in full swing. I was told that we are almost 70 percent ready. We are doing our best and working hard to make the country's hosting a success," Romasanta added.
Early ticket sales have also been encouraging as organizer Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) expects big crowds in each game.
Premium seats at courtside and ringside cost P450 while lower level seats cost P350 and general admission is P100.
"I'm glad that a lot of people are interested in witnessing this world-class tournament," he said. "We're leaving no stone unturned and are all looking forward to a successful event."
The Philippines, which will be bannered by University Athletic Association of the Philippines Most Valuable Player and 28th Southeast Asian Games flag-bearer Alyssa Valdez, plays in Group A with West Asian favorite Iran and Kazakhstan.
The Philippines plays against Iran on opening day.
Other players who will represent the Philippines are Grethcel Soltones, Jia Morado, Bea de Leon, EJ Laure, Myla Pablo, Jaja Santiago, Tin Agno, Marivic Meneses, Jhoanna Maraguinot, Rissa Sato and Ella de Jesus. They will be coached by Roger Gorayeb with Tai Bundit serving as trainer.