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, February 5, 2018

How about Philippine men’s volleyball?

How about Philippine men’s volleyball?
by rick olivares

For all the buzz about volleyball; women’s volleyball in particular, I think we have generally overlooked the men’s game.

Sure the women’s game is exciting because of the long rallies while in the men’s game, it’s about power and usually, patay agad yung bola. Even the focus in media... there is a huge disparity. I’ll agree to that because I too write more of the women’s game than the men’s. But after some conversation with some knowledgeable folks, yes, I agree. The men’s game needs a huge push.

Aesthetic-wise or even television-wise, I will agree to the women’s game is more fun to watch. I’ll say this though, I think for Philippine Men’s Volleyball… maybe we can compete for a medal. The international game is like that – fast and quick. So why not? We have the talent, the height, the depth. Maybe not international experience but that can be worked on.

I have to commend the Premier Volleyball League for giving the men a venue to play. It allows them to extend their post-college career. Previously, the men went into the armed forces teams if they wanted to continue playing especially for the national team. With the rise of club volleyball, I think we can compete.

The current LVPI leadership is terrible. It is stocked with people with agendas and those who have no clue what they are doing. They aren’t even working for promoting volleyball, but dividing it. And I cannot believe the excuses of its leader. And for the matter, why is the vice president running the show? Shouldn’t it be the Gen-Sec? But let’s call a spade a spade -- even some of those waiting in the wings have their own agendas. Not all though let’s be clear about that.

Let’s get back to the premise rather than the rant…

There’s height… like National University’s 6’4” Bryan Bagunas. There are the power spikers in Marck Espejo, Mark Gil Alfafara, and Peter Torres to name a few. Setters… there are lots. Plus, we’ve got tall middle blockers and attackers. There are some very good liberos as well.

Are we going to have a team in the Asian Games? If we are, then look no further than the teams or even the all-star squads the PVL has put up the past couple of years.

Maybe our leadership can also do something to promote the men’s game. They might even win a medal before the women’s team can. I’d really like to see where a men’s team can go and if it can compete.

Hopefully, we can see that come the next international competition.

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