INTERNATIONAL Volleyball Federation (FIVB) executive council member Stav Jacobi sat down with the country's top volleyball executives and pushed them to prepare for the country's possible hosting of the FIVB World Women's Club Championship in October next year.
The meeting yielded a very positive result.
Philippine Superliga (PSL) president Ramon Suzara bared the Philippines has a very good chance of hosting the prestigious world tourney after Jacobi was impressed with the competition venue and hotels that would accommodate the world's top volleyball players, coaches, and officials expected to participate in the 10-day meet.
Aside from Suzara, Jacobi also sat down with PSL chairman Philip Ella Juico, Sports5 president Chot Reyes, and Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI) vice president Peter Cayco, who threw the federation's all-our support behind the massive endeavor.
Jacobi - owner of a top-flight European club team in Volero Zurich and FIVB's in-charge of the World Women's Club tourney - also visited the Mall of Asia Arena, Solaire Resort and Casino, and Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel.
He also served as guest of honor in the opening of the 2015 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix at the Alonte Sports Arena in Binan, Laguna, where he got a clear view of the Filipinos' passion for women's volleyball.
“He liked what he saw,” said Suzara, also an FIVB executive council member and chairman of the marketing and development committee of the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC).
Suzara added the country needs at least P100 million to host the top-caliber tournament where top club teams from Brazil, Serbia, Russia, Turkey, Italy, and the United States are competing for pride and prestige.
“Our meeting turned out to be very positive. Mr. Jacobi laid down all the FIVB requirements and all the stakeholders involved are all willing to comply. I think we have a very good chance. It's just a matter of working hard and making sure that everything is covered.”
Jacobi validated Suzara's claim, saying he was surprised with the facilities and the massive crowd that trooped to the venue to witness the PSL's opening-day salvo featuring Cignal against reigning champion Petron and Foton against Meralco over the weekend.
“With a crowd like this, I think the Philippines will have an edge in the bidding process,” he said, adding that Turkey has also shown interest, but the FIVB is very interested to bring the tournament to Asia this year.
“We want to give the Philippines a good chance of hosting the World Women's Club Championship which will be in October of 2016.”
The PSL ,the country's premiere inter-club volleyball league that is taking the lead in the bidding process, will send its formal proposal in the next two weeks. FIVB will award the hosting rights in November.
The core of reigning Grand Prix champion Petron is being groomed to represent the home country. It, however, will be powered by six imports to be provided by the FIVB.
“This development is a major breakthrough to the development of volleyball in the country,” Suzara said. “Although we already have a good chance of landing the hosting, let us still keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best. This is not yet over. We still have to do a lot of hard work.”