THE Philippines has been invited to see action in the VTV International Women’s Volleyball Cup in Hanoi from July 1 to August 1.
While the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc (LVPI) has expressed interest in competing in the meet, funding appears to be a big road block for the team’s campaign.
Although organizers will shoulder food and accommodation of all participants, the LVPI still needs to raise around P700,000 to send a 12-woman squad and its three coaches to the Vietnam joust, based on the calculation of LVPI president Joey Romasanta.
According to Romasanta, the Vietnam Volleyball Federation extended an invitation for the country to join the meet, considered one of Asia’s most prestigious volleyball tournaments, after some Vietnamese volleyball executives witnessed the Filipinas play in the recent 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore.
“They were impressed by our competitiveness," Romasanta said. "Although we suffered a straight-set loss to Vietnam (in the SEA Games), we were still very competitive. I think that made them decide to invite us - not to mention the Filipina beauty that captivated them."
Aside from financial issues, the opening schedule of two major local tournaments could also hinder the national team’s participation.
The Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference is set to open on July 18, while the Philippine Super Liga ushers its Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup 2015 on the same date.
Romasanta said the LVPI will hold an executive committee meeting on Tuesday to address the issue and map out a national-team calendar that will be both agreeable and suitable to the schedule of the country’s four major stakeholders - the V-League, Philippine Super Liga, UAAP, and NCAA.
But if he can get his way, Romasanta said he wants to send the same team which competed in the SEA Games to Hanoi.
“I have yet to know the opinion of the stakeholders so I can't decide whether we will go or not,” he said. “But if you're going to ask me, yes, I want them to join. However, there are a lot of issues that still need to be addressed.”
“Mahirap naman kung ibang players pa ang hahatakin natin para maglaro,” he added. “Syempre, gusto din natin na yung mga naglaro na din sa SEA Games ang ipadala natin. Kaya lang, magiging available naman kaya sila?”
Top-flight teams in the region such as China, South Korea, Thailand, Japan, and Kazakhstan are regularly invited to the meet together with some club teams from the United States and Australia.
Last year, 4.25 Sports Club from Korea defeated Lien VietPost Bank of Vietnam in the gold-medal match.
The tournament is sanctioned by the International Volleyball Federation and Asian Volleyball Confederation and serves as the ultimate test for teams wanting to make it to the World Grand Prix.
Meanwhile, LVPI sources claimed the defunct Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF) made a last-ditch attempt to join the tournament.
Its letter of intent, however, was junked by the organizers after getting confirmation from the FIVB and the AVC that LVPI is the duly recognized volleyball federation in the country.