|The grind begins for the national volleyball teams later this week. PNVF (file photo)|
MANILA—The buildup toward two important regional tournaments starts on July 1 with the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) opening bubble training facilities in Ilocos Norte.
PNVF President Ramon “Tats” Suzara said the training program for the men’s and women’s teams are to kick off in earnest as the federation gears up for the country’s hosting of the Asian Women’s Seniors Championship in Pampanga and the Hanoi 31st Southeast Asian Games in November.
“Training for the national teams officially start on July 1 and we are very thankful that Ilocos Norte has agreed to adopt our national athletes who will be training in a bubble environment,” Suzara said. “The Asian championship and the SEA Games are priority events on the national team program.”
Suzara said the PNVF training bubbles are exclusive in Ilocos Norte and belied reports that members of the national volleyball teams set up training camp in Baguio City.
“It’s not true that the PNVF has a training bubble in Baguio City,” he said. “Maybe, certain reports that volleyball players are in Baguio City weren’t confirmed at all.”
Philippine Sports Commission chief of staff Marc Velasco also confirmed that there are no national athletes training in Baguio City at the moment.
Suzara said the Asian championship will be played in Pampanga and Subic from Aug. 29-Sept. 5.
“At least 10 countries are expected to take part in this major Asian Volleyball Confederation and International Volleyball Federation tournaments,” Suzara said.
The SEA Games, meanwhile, are set from Nov. 21-Dec. 2 in the Vietnamese capital. The Hanoi games organizers are deciding next week on whether or not to postpone the competitions because of Covid-19 concerns, but Suzara said the PNVF is going on with the training program.
“The PNVF mindset is for the athletes—including beach volleyball—to focus on these international events,” he said.
There are 56 national team members—20 men and 16 women in volleyball and 10 men and 10 women in beach volleyball.
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