Volleyball: PH culture different from powerhouse countries, official says

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 16 2017 07:36 PM | Updated as of May 16 2017 09:07 PM

'Pinoy volleyball relies on pure talent'

Joey Romasanta (left), with fellow Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas Inc. official Peter Cayco, says the Philippines has its work cut out reaching Thailand's stature as a regional powerhouse. Romasanta and Cayco were guests in Tuesday's Philippine Sportswriters Association forum. Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

MANILA – Thanks to superstars such as Alyssa Valdez, Rachel Anne Daquis, Mika Reyes and Michelle Gumabao, women’s volleyball has attracted a robust local following.

But Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas Inc. president Joey Romasanta believes the country being a consistent winner internationally is a ways off.

“Ang status ng volleyball is that it is only a popular sport in the Philippines,” he said in the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) forum on Tuesday. “Medal-wise, madami pa tayong trabaho.”

Romasanta pointed out that Thailand, the reigning Southeast Asian Games women's champion, is “20 years ahead” of the Philippines.

“Volleyball in the Philippines is running on pure talent,” he said.

“(Samantalang ang Thailand) na-i-program na nila ng maayos. Ang kanilang coaching doon specialized, puro libero lang, puro setter lang. Coaching nila, puro outside hitter lang. So nagkakaroon sila ng specialization. When they put together a team, specialized na agad ang mga players.”

Romasanta added that the culture in volleyball powerhouse countries such Thailand and China is different from the Philippines. 

“Problema natin, ang kultura ng Pilipinas iba. Nauuna ang pag-aaral ng bata. Iyon ang unang una sa atin,” he said. “Sa ibang bansa, huwag ka nang mag-aral, dito ka na lang. Mahirap iyong pamilya, bibigyan namin ng allowance ang pamilya, bigay mo sa amin ang bata.”

“Dito medyo unthinkable pa na mangyari yun. Sabi nga sa atin, may asawa na't pamilya ang anak sa magulang pa rin nakatira. Pero slowly but surely darating tayo dun.”

The LVPI is expected to announce Friday the 18-man pool for the women’s and men’s volleyball teams for the SEA Games in August.

LVPI vice-president Peter Cayco said the coaches will meet on Thursday night to determine the composition.

"They will trim the lineup. The lineups will be announced on the afternoon on Friday after their practice at 2 p.m.," he said.

The pool will train in Japan and China before the final 12 Kuala Lumpur-bound players are announced.

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