IRAN coach Daniele Bagnoli sees a lot of potential for the Philippines in volleyball, but said any development program should start from the ground up.
Speaking after leading Iranian club Matin Varamin to a masterful, 19-25, 25-17, 26-24, 25-16, victory over Qatar in the final of the Asian Club Men's Volleyball Championship, the Italian coach said the host country needs size and technique to compete against the best in the region.
“This probably is the future but the volleyball program in the Philippines has to grow,” said the 60-year-old Bagnoli, who was once an assistant coach for Italy and for a while called the shots for Russia.
The Philippines' Power Pinoys finished seventh in their maiden appearance in the tournament, winning a total of two games including a five-set victory over Lebanon in the consolation rounds.
But the hosts looked in over their heads in games against the volleyball giants of the region, including Iran.
To change that, Bagnoli said the Philippines needs players with the size to measure up to the opposition and develop better technique through constant exposure in high-level tournaments.
“Philippines should grow physically, the performance of the players, and also the technique capacity,” he said. “Because this I think is a big, big, sport to the Philippines.”
Bagnoli said media should also play a big part in helping promote volleyball to lure more potential talent to a sport that at this time ranks a far second locally to basketball in terms of popularity.
“It (volleyball) is very important so the media should have to take care of it in the newspapers and magazines,” Bagnoli said.