MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) has secured its partnership with the provincial government of Pampanga and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) for the hosting of the 21st Asian Senior Women's Volleyball Championship.
Pampanga Governor Dennis Pineda and BCDA vice president Arrey Perez laid the groundwork in a meeting early this week with PNVF president Ramon "Tats" Suzara.
The event, which is expected to attract 16 countries, will be held from August 29 to September 5.
"Governor Pineda is excited and supportive to host the championship for the first time," Suzara said in a statement. "He would like to have a grassroots program for the youth volleyball in Pampanga and asked the PNVF to help him with getting coaches."
According to Suzara, the San Fernando Convention Center will serve as the main competition venue and is now undergoing renovations to meet international volleyball standards.
The Subic Gym and the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center in Pampanga will be the secondary halls.
The Philippines wound up hosting the competition after the Chinese city of Jiangmen withdrew, with the FIVB offering the rights to the PNVF instead.
"We saw the opportunity and we grabbed it," said Suzara.
The PNVF president is now set to meet with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority chairman and administrator Atty. Wilma Eisma.
The Philippines previously hosted the top tier women's championship in 1997 and again in 2017.
The week-long tournament serves as a qualifier for next year's FIVB Women's World Championship to be hosted by The Netherlands and Poland.
Japan is gunning for a third consecutive championship, having won two years ago in Seoul and in the 2017 edition in Biñan, Laguna. Thailand, the 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medalists in 2019 and runner-up to Japan in the past two championships, is also expected to compete.
The Philippines, which is making a return to continental play after missing the event two years ago, will start training in June for the tournament.
"We expect our young players in the national team to be promising and to have good experience before the SEA Games in Vietnam," said Suzara.