Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Who is holding serve in Philippine volleyball? The National Team Part Two

This appears in the Tuesday, January 20, 2015 edition of the Business Mirror.

Who is holding serve in Philippine volleyball?
The National Team Part Two
by rick olivares

When Rachel Anne Daquis shed tears during the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association meeting at Shakey’s Malate late last year, she cited the ongoing row between factions within the Philippine Volleyball Federation as having an effect on team morale. Michelle Datuin, the former La Salle star and now one of the national team managers said that she was worried that the problems might scare away potential sponsors or even their current sponsor, PLDT Home Fibr.

While I feel bad for Daquis and understand Datuin’s concern, I must chide those volleyball officials who trotted the players and managers out in front of media to make their thoughts known.

That leads me to wonder if these officials are sending the – for lack of a better term -- “young ones” to fight their battles.

In the light of the Philippine Olympic Committee calling for new tryouts thus nullifying the PVF’s putting up a national pool, from what I understand, there are fears among some of the national players about being removed from the team. I also understand that there are concerns about some players who were not previously invited to the tryouts because of politics.

And that’s sad. While we lament politics pervading every aspect of human interaction, there’s that tired saying, “Kahit saan naman meron.” However, that is not an excuse. It boils down to a failure of leadership with the players – some who do not know any better and are being misled -- caught in the middle.

First of all, why should the players be afraid? Whatever happens, there will be a national team that will compete. I also know some well-placed quarters within the community have also said to not rock the boat further and use the team currently in place.

When I asked POC’s Joey Romasanta about this, he said that there is no national team yet precisely because no one has been named to it. It follows for every sport in the country. There are players in the pool but as for the final line-up, there’s none yet.”

He also said that the lineup will be named come this March.

Now the PVF has been in turmoil for the longest time. From problems with the leadership to the unaccounted money given by international federations to inactivity. Really, what has the PVF done? Since the PVF rose from the ashes of the old Philippine Amateur Volleyball Association in 2005, nothing has happened.

The V-League that has long carried the torch for women’s volleyball operated for 11 years without any sanction of the national sports association. It only finally got that sanction in October of 2014 after they needed FIVB sanction due to their fielding of foreign players.

The national team has not participated in any Southeast Asian Games tilt since 2005 (where the girls finished with a bronze) or in Asian Championships from 2005 until last 2013 where it finished 12th (among 16 participating nations).

I emailed the Asian Volleyball Confederation about the problems of the Philippines and the answer from the federation’s Executive Vice President Shanrit Wongprasert is telling.

Thank you very much for your interest but AVC and FIVB (but we) will not get involved with any internal conflict of our affiliated federations. FIVB and AVC shall respect the decision of each National Olympic Committee but until now there is no official letter to the President of AVC and FIVB concerning the new Board of Administration. FIVB and AVC will recognize when the internal conflict has been solved and send the names of the new Board of Administration for recognition.

For your information, I am not the person who can make decisions or can answer you. Only FIVB and AVC Presidents with the decision of FIVB and AVC Board of Administration Meeting can answer the question, like this. Your good understanding to my answer will be very highly appreciated.

The email from the EVP of the AVC tells of the problems with the leadership. It was they who intimated to the POC about the problems with the local leadership and the lack of transparency in an email letter dated May 2013! It has been that long.

And therefore, in the interest of fairness to the embattled PVF, I must also ask the POC why hasn’t this matter been resolved? Why is it taking this long? In my opinion, everyone should hash or resolve this in a matter of days. Invite everyone and anyone who is involved with this sport in some sort of “unity congress.” Bring out your paperwork to prove your legality or whatever. There should be no room for interpretation, conjecture, rhetoric, saber-rattling or hearsay. Stick to facts and paperwork and move on from this.

It is sad to see this happening in what I will say is the second major sport in the country now after basketball.

Hopefully, there is light at the end of this tunnel. And hopefully, we all see it real soon.


Additional Reading (click on the link)

Who's holding serve in Philippine volleyball? Part One: Legality 


  1. What was telling also was the fact the the volleyball association has been in shambles since 2006. And talks of sanctions from the international governing bodies were floating around as early.

    Looking at the timeline:

    1995 - Grand Prix. Was the debt incurred then? By whom? PAVA? Leadership by whose group?
    2004 - SVL formed under the shadow of PAVA
    2005 - PVF formed. SVL continued to operate without PVF's sanction or recognition because it didn't ask and acknowledge the same.
    2005 - 2013 No participation even in SEAG
    2005 - 2010 - Leadership was already disorganized.
    2010 - Dungo's ledership. Focus was on grassroot. Pro-league was not the priority.
    2012 - Election was due as per constitution but in practice, since 1951, cycle was 4 years. Hence, no elections were held.
    2013- Dungo was bumped off by interim board with a resolution. Chan leadership emerged. Is this procedure stipulated in its constitution?
    2013 - Super Liga formed.
    2013 - still no international competition even by way of ASEAN. Under new pvf's leaderhip's watch, Bomberinas (Cignal), Powerpinays (Pldt), etc. were formed. But national participation were not as successful.

    If new PVF was serious in bringing volleyball back to international map, why did we not join 2013 SEAG?
    Reason forwarded was that PSC dissuaded teams which didn't have chance at gold (as far as Mr Garcia and SEAG are concerned).
    This early too, POC has been asking PVF to fix the mess. Chan's leadership and Dungo's faction.

    2014 - Dungo, Cantada faction made a comeback. Cantada and Dungo as well as other board members (I'm guessing which made up the other half of this group) were not signatories to the board resolution back in 2013.

    2014 - It's just now, under threat of sanctions (punishment by POC) that Chan's group is trying the legal route (papreworks, registration, etc).
    2014 - without legitimacy, Chan led PVF formed national teams.
    2014 - POC still said that its stand is for the volleyball association to fix itself first, and NOT to dissolve any existing factions. A 5-man down to 3 (after Ho and Tabaquero and Suzara backed out, and Mozzy added) was created but withheld recommendations and/or action because of the backlash in the community. Even the try-outs were scrapped.

    2015 - The two factions (Chan's and Dungo's) came to a united stand. Elections were held already but NOT participated or watched by POC. Jan 25 General Assembly were to be held. But POC would have none of it.
    Seems POC changed its stand from watching the mess get resolved to total dissolution and now a new association again from PAVA - PVF05 - PVFDungo- PVFChan - PVFUnited - LBP? So why? Because of the unresolved debt way back in GP? Is that also the reason why POC is involved here? Who was responsible for the debt?

    But from all indications, AVC and FIVB asked for POC help because of the debt issues and the Phils lack of international participation. Then POC should ask PSC why this is so at least in SEAG. And until now, it is waiting for the national olympic recommendations on the row and subsequent resolution. And again, why did POC renege on its first commitment to resolve the row first? Why the drastic changeover all of a sudden inspite of the seemingly positive development of the GA happening this month? Still so many questions unanswered.

    And lastly, all the players and coaches should stay out of it muna. Tama si Rick. Wait for a resolution. They are being manipulated as pawns.

  2. Maybe I'm just speaking from emotion, but whatever happens, I want the Bagwis/Amihan teams to stay as the national teams; unlike to POC teams, they passed through a more rigorous and thorough qualifying process, which automatically makes them more credible than the training pool the POC thought of basically "at will".

    1. Buti na lang hindi. Ang nagbunga sa hindi tama ay mali. And can we ditch this goddam Amihan and Bagwis nicknames? The name is PHILIPPINES. Not Amihan. I am sure you know that is a name of a beer garden somewhere in Timog.

    2. Like "Gilas" Pilipinas right? They are calling it Bagwis/Amihan because they are not yet the national team.