FOR the first time in 17 years, the Philippines will once more field a men's team in an Asian volleyball tournament since its entry in the 1997 Southeast Asian Games.
From April 8 to 16, the country will not only join but serve as host of the 2014 Asian Men's Volleyball Club Championship to be held in Manila.
Philippine Volleyball Federation chairman Philip Juico said he is hoping that hosting the nine-day tournament will sustain the resurgence of volleyball in the country.
"We expect that with this tournament, volleyball will be coming back to life," Juico said during the press conference at the Aracaba restaurant at The Fort in Taguig City on Thursday.
Around 12 to 14 teams are expected to participate in the tournament led by defending champion Iran, which is looking for its 10th title since it joined in 1999.
Tats Suzara, president of Sports Core Event Management and Consultancy and chairman of the Asian Volleyball Confederation Development and Marketing Committee, said the country's representatives to the competition can be composed of members of the national team and club members.
Suzara said the Philippine team will be called the colors of PLDT Home Fibr and may or may not display the country’s national flag in their uniforms.
"Pwedeng may Philippine flag, pwedeng wala. The team itself is a club regardless of the country. That is a club regulation," he explained.
Suzara said it was too early to gauge the Philippines' chances since they have yet to conduct tryouts which will be held on January 15, 18 and 19 at The Arena in San Juan City.
The first day of the tryouts will also coincide with the announcement of the competition format and the deadline of submission of entries of the participating countries.
After a week, the AVC committee will conduct an inspection of the tournament venues - The Arena in San Juan and the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.