Looking to unify the affairs of the sport locally, volleyball stakeholders gathered at the weekend ahead of elections set for later this month.

Organized by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), the meeting gathered representatives from the Alliances of Philippine Volleyball Inc. (APVI), Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc. (LVPI) and Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF) at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel on Saturday to discuss, among others, details of the elections set for Jan. 25. 

The POC was sent a letter by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) asking it to supervise an election among volleyball stakeholders here at the soonest possible time to settle once and for all the issue on who gets to officially represent the Philippines in the federation.

LVPI has been recognized by the POC since 2015 as the national federation for the sport, but is being contested by the PVF.

But neither of the groups is recognized by the FIVB. 

The FIVB in its letter to the POC reiterated the need to elect a “legitimate NSA” lest the country risk not being able to send national teams to FIVB-sanctioned tournaments.

POC President Abraham Tolentino said they would heed the request of the FIVB and hold elections just as he welcomed the stakeholders coming together for the undertaking. 

“Volleyball is already unified at last and the true winner here is Philippine volleyball,” said Mr. Tolentino in a release.

Mr. Tolentino said the new national sports federation — which has yet to assume an official name — will be composed of 13 positions from the chairman, president and down to the members of the board.

Those who attended the meeting were AVPI’s Ramon “Tats” Suzara, LVPI secretary-general Ariel Paredes and PVF secretary-general Rustico “Otie” Camangian.

Also present were Ricky Palou and Tony Boy Liao of Sports Vision, organizer of the Premier Volleyball League.

Mr. Tolentino, meanwhile, was joined by POC secretary-general Atty. Ed Gastanes, membership and accreditation committee head Atty. Billy Sumagui, and legal officer Atty. Wharton Chan.

Validation and submission of voting members is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 18, while the nomination of candidates will be on Wednesday. – Michael Angelo S. Murillo

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