UAAP reaffirms support for volleyball federation

OFFICIALS of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines and Philippine National Volleyball Federation pose after Tuesday’s meeting.

THE University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) reaffirmed its commitment and support to the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) specifically in the establishment of a wide pool of young players for major international meets.

“Yes, the UAAP is very supportive of the national team program,” said Adamson University and UAAP Season 85 President Fr. Aldrin Suan, CM during Tuesday’s meeting with PNVF at the Adamson campus.

The reaffirmation came less than a week after the PNVF relieved the National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs of their national team duties so as to prevent them from sustaining injuries as they prepare for the coming UAAP season.

NU was supposed to represent the country in the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Cup set late this month in Pasig and play important tune-up games in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Invitational semis but allegedly refused to play for fear its players might get injured.

Creamline, which ruled the PVL Invitational, will represent the country in the AVC Cup instead.

“The PNVF is thankful for the commitment of support from the UAAP,” said PNVF President Ramon Suzara. “With this, we have a secured future for the national team.”

The two parties discussed UAAP aligning its volleyball schedule with the International Volleyball Federation’s (FIVB) program of world calendar and lending its players to the national team.

The national team to the Cambodia 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games campaign, however, will not have UAAP players because of its proximity to the end of the UAAP volleyball season.

The Cambodia games are set May 5 to 16, 2023, the same period when the UAAP is about to conclude its season.

“The Vietnam and Cambodia SEA Games were scheduled in May, not the traditional SEA Games schedule of November up to December because of the offshoot of the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic,” said Mr. Suzara. “But come 2023, the SEA Games returns to its traditional schedule and the UAAP players would be free for the national team by then.”

The FIVB’s world calendar starts in May and ends in October of each year for the so-called national team window.

Among those present in the meeting were NU’s Sergio Lim and Nilo Ocampo, Far Eastern University’s Mark Molina, University of the East’s Rod Roque, UAAP Season 85 Secretary Treasurer Fr. Andrew Bayal also of Adamson University, De La Salle’s Nonong Calanog and Edwin Reyes, University of the Philippines’ Dean Francisco “Kiko” Diaz, University of Santo Tomas’ Gigi Kamus and UAAP Executive Director Rebo Saguisag.

“The UAAP is fully supportive of the initiatives of the PNVF, but for this immediate season, we have made preparations for our respective calendar of events,” Mr. Diaz said. “In fact, our current schedule of events fits perfectly with theirs [PNVF], so I don’t see any conflict.”

The major competitions that could see UAAP players on the national team include the Hangzhou 19th Asian Games in September 2023, Asian Championships, Asian Volleyball Confederation Cups for Men and Women and the ASEAN Grand Prix. — Joey Villar