MANILA, Philippines – ABS-CBN Sports on Tuesday officially signed a partnership with the Beach Volleyball Republic (BVR), with a pledge to do full coverage of the organization's events starting with a tournament in Boracay on April 27 and 28.
BVR, founded by former Ateneo de Manila University volleyball stars Charo Soriano, Bea Tan, Dzi Gervacio, Fille Cainglet-Cayetano and Gretchen Ho, aims to promote the sport of beach volleyball in the Philippines by providing an avenue for athletes to train, develop their skills, build a community, and compete in high-level exhibition tournaments all over the country.
It started last year with tournaments held at the Sands at SM By The Bay at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, and has since brought the BVR on Tour to Ilocos Sur in January, all the way to Lakawon Island in Negros Occidental earlier this month.
"This is a humbling experience for us," Soriano said at the contract signing. "We didn't think this will happen as quickly as it did… It's a blessing for us to share our passion and love for the sport."
As part of their partnership, ABS-CBN Sports+Action and ABS-CBN Sports+Action HD will cover BVR's events, starting with the Boracay leg of BVR on Tour. Three semi-finals matches and three finals matches will be aired on ABS-CBN Sports+Action and Sports+Action HD 166.
BVR on Tour's culminating event – a four-day tournament at the Sands at SM by the Bay on May 26-29 – will be aired live as well.
Soriano said the TV coverage of BVR will go a long way towards raising awareness of the sport for Filipinos.
"It's really the exposure," she said. "We all know how much of an impact media and a broadcast partner will have on anything and everything that's being communicated. We're just very lucky to have ABS-CBN Sports+Action, and of course the HD channel, to showcase beach volleyball."
"It's a partnership din, not only the broadcast partner but also the content – how they're doing it, how they're communicating the things that we're doing," she added.
"Because it's beach volleyball, we wear bikinis, but we love ABS-CBN because they really focus on the athletes, the sport itself, like how powerful we are as athletes," Soriano stressed.
Dino Laurena, the head of ABS-CBN Integrated Sports, said they welcomed the opportunity to bring beach volleyball to areas of the country and to sports fans who may otherwise not get to see a major sports event.
"They may not see a boxing match or a basketball game, but they will see an exciting volleyball tournament played by the best players in the country. They deserve to see that. That's why we're bringing it to them," he said.
After the Boracay leg on April 27-28, BVR on Tour will have another leg on May 20-21, although Soriano said they are still finalizing the details, after which the tour will culminate with the four-day leg at the Sands at SM By the Bay.
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.