SOME of the best club teams and players in the world are seeing action in the FIVB Women’s Club World Championship, and interestingly an Italian coach is trying to drum up interest in basketball-crazy Philippines by declaring the volleyball tournament as “higher level” than the NBA.
“This tournament will be better than the NBA, it will be a higher level than the NBA because this will be really the top club teams,” Vakifbank Istanbul coach Giovanni Guidetti told Spin.ph.
“Top players so there is no better volleyball that the people can see this days in the Philippines because the best of the best will be there so it will be a great, great volleyball,” added Guidetti, who led Netherlands to a fourth place finish in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Guidetti, 43, also steered VakifBank to a WCWC gold medal in 2013 and a silver medal in 2011.
Eight teams — VakifBank Istanbul, Pomi Cassalmaggiore, Rexona Sesc Rio, Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul, Bangkok Glass, Volero Zurich, Hisamitsu Springs Kobe and PSL-F2 Logistics Manila — are competing in the tournament set October 18 to 23 at MOA Arena.
VakifBank Istanbul has a star-studded team led by 2016 Rio Olympics MVP Zhu Ting from China, Netherlands national team member Lonneke Sloetjes, who was named best opposite spiker in the Rio Games, and Kimberly Hill of the US national team.
Olympics silver medalist Tijana Boskovic from Serbia, four-time World Grand Prix gold medalist and Russia national team member Titiana Kosheleva and USA national team members Jordan Larson and Rachel Adams will power Eczacibasi.
PSL-F2 Logistics Manila will lean on Olympian Lynda Morales from Puerto Rico, American outside hitter Lindsay Stalzer and locals Jovelyn Gonzaga and skipper Rachel Anne Daquis.
“Manila is a nice city, the people have been really waiting for us so we are very excited to play this tournament,” said Guidetti. “So this is going to be a very, very nice volleyball show for everybody.”
“But aside from the excitement, the very important thing is that the level of the tournament is really amazing,” he added.
“So there are all the best player of the world are playing in the tournament, from every country – the best Brazilian, the best American, the best Russian, the best Serbian, the best from Holland, the best from Turkey, the best from Italy, really the best from Japan so all the best volleyball players will play in this tournament.”
“The level of the volleyball of this tournament is unique in all the world, there is not competition in the world that will have so many high-level player in one moment so in this six days the Filipinos can see really the best players in the world,” he continued.
VakifBank Istanbul faces Hisamitsu Springs in the opening match at 10 a.m.