FILIPINO volleyball fans are in for a big treat with the country's hosting of the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) men and women in June 2022.
Formerly known as the Grand Prix, the VNL Women will be staged at the Mall of Asia Arena from June 14 to 19 while the men's event will happen from June 21-26 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“This is really a chance kasi hindi mo mapapanood ng basta-basta itong mga world-class teams dito sa Pilipinas,” said Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) president Tats Suzara during the PSA Forum on Tuesday.
The federation president bared the country was initially offered to host only the men’s league, but it was tasked to hold the women's leg as well after Thailand begged off.
The second week of the women’s VNL will feature reigning champion and Tokyo Olympic gold medalist US as well as Belgium, China, Poland Japan, Russia, Thailand and Canada.
The men's tournament will feature world-class talents from Olympic gold medalist France, runner-up Russia and bronze medalist Argentina as well as Japan, Italy, Germany, Slovenia and Netherlands.
“I wanted to show the Filipino audience that men’s volleyball is more exciting than the women [game]. Makikita ng Filipino audience na iba ang men’s volleyball when they come here,” he said.
The PNVF is planning to sell tickets at 50 percent capacity, around 10,000 seats for both the MOA Arena and the Big Dome, but it still depends on their meetings with the IATF.
Suzara said the Philippine women’s volleyball team will have an exhibition match against Japan and Russia, while the male spikers will hold scrimmages against Argentina, Italy and Japan.
“They’ll have a chance to play with these world-class teams as part of FIVB’s promotion. This is really a part of the schedule because there’s a three-day gap before they go to the next (leg),” he said.
“Exhibition lang. hopefully in the near future makakasama na tayo sa VNL. This is a one step ahead that VNL now is coming to the Philippines for the first time.”
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