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.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

On the continuing mess that is Philippine volleyball: VICIOUS BALL

This appears in the Monday, February 9, 2015 edition of the Business Mirror.

by rick olivares

The other week, the Federation de International Volleyball (FIVB) sent a memo signifying their recognition of the newly organized Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVP) as the National Sports Association. It was puzzling because I thought that technically, there is the existing NSA in the Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF) even if the international federation along with the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) seems unhappy with the current local leadership.

What makes this a bad comedy is that officials from this PVF left and formed a new PVF! Then when there were problems they went back to the old PVF. Is this even possible? Is this ethical or even legal? Does this smack of desperation of wanting to be in power?

Did the FIVB memo solve the problem? Far from it. It is now officially to borrow military jargon, a SNAFU (if you don’t know what that acronym means go look it up and as crass as what it may stand for it is a massive understatement).

In a somewhat surprising twist just the other day, the top dog of the Philippine Olympic Committee asked one of its officials who has been working to fix the volleyball mess to accommodate two of the supposed officers of the embattled PVF into the new LVP. But it doesn’t end there, this top dog unequivocally asked for the removal of one of the Philippine Super Liga (PSL) official who is supposed to be part of the LVP.

It so happens that this PSL officer is also with the AVC.

It seems that the two PVF officials asked a certain congressman to intercede and bypass this POC official to go straight to the boss. If this is true then does this mean they are jumping ship even if they recently went through alleged elections (according to a coach who was present in that proceeding, it was all for show and rigged)?

Now if so, this isn’t the first time about jumping ship. One of them previously went to this congressman who first asked the POC official involved in the volleyball mess if this PVF officer can be accommodated as General-Secretary in the new LVP! So this is twice now! It really is every man for himself.

The way I look at it, asking for the removal of this AVC-PSL official is doing a Shylock – demanding their pound of flesh – by way of this ouster.

It is entirely possible they believe that this AVC-PSL official engineered these current troubles by “influencing” the AVC and FIVB into calling for an investigation into the PVF. And the record is out there as the letter from the AVC to the POC clearly states this PSL-AVC official.

And some of the LVP people are not enamored of this PSL-AVC officer who they have had run-ins before. But it seems for these other LVP officials he is the lesser evil as opposed to the PVF men who they do not like for various reasons.

However will this new development fly? In my opinion, the AVC will protect its own. And what that means, hell, I there are many scenarios.

One is they will altogether not approve both the LVP and the PVF effectively ending any Philippine participation in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games.

I understand from a former PVF official who is no longer active that we came close to being suspended before for various offences.

What happens in our NSAs is really a microcosm of what goes on in the national government and for ages now.

Who am I rooting for? No one. I just hope the people up there do what is right for the sport and that the parties with agendas are put in their place.


  1. This is the SBP-BAP fiasco all over again. Maybe its just me, but the root cause is that both groups are salivating over the multimillion peso funding PLDT is willing to give to the national team

  2. Rick, we can participate in the SEA Games even without AVC-FIVB recognition. The SEA Games is an IOC affair. The POC has the power to field whoever it wishes. Anyway, now that the mess is still on, I think LVP wil continue to hold its election in compliance with the provisionary recognition given by the FIVB. But since the POC will not recognize it unless it accomodates Chavez and Camangian, it will fail to secure POC recognition and wouldn't send a team to the SEA Games. However, LVP will still gain the upperhand in a LOT of FIVB-AVC tournaments like the Women's U23 which will be held here in May. In short, Peping's endorsement of Chavez to be LVP president wouldn't fly as stakeholders seem loyal in Romasanta and Suzara. And it is just a minor bump towards achieving international presence in volleyball.

  3. out of the frying pan into the fire

  4. The problem starts when Romasanta of POC interferes in the PVF affairs and created a "supposedly new" volleyball federation. Instead of helping Philippine volleyball, he has created a more complicated scenario that places everything uncertain including our participation to SEA games and U23 championship... He should fix the mess he has created...