MANILA, Philippines -- The primary backer of the country's volleyball program remains proud of the efforts of the national teams, despite a disappointing campaign in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The men's and women's beach volleyball teams repeated their feat in 2019 and went home with bronze medals, but neither the men's and women's indoor squads reached the podium.
Still, executives of Rebisco vowed further support for the national volleyball teams in the hopes of making progress in future competitions.
"Let's look forward to more volleyball, more victories and more participation in Southeast Asian, Asian and world stages in the years to come," Rebisco Group vice chairman Jonathan Ng told members of the national team during a recent thanksgiving party.
The beach volleyball duos of Bernadeth Pons-Sisi Rondina and Jovelyn Gonzaga-Dij Rodriguez in the women's class and Jude Garcia-Krung Arbastos and Jaron Requinton-Ranran Abdilla in the men's contest retained their SEA Games bronze medal the country first bagged in the 30th SEA Games in Subic in 2019.
Despite training in Qatar and Brazil, respectively, the men's and women's indoor squads could not reach the podium. The men's team, in particular, couldn't build on the silver that they won in 2019 and settled for fifth place. The women's team, meanwhile, fell in four sets to Indonesia in the bronze medal match.
But Ng still saw positives in the campaign and expressed their company's gratitude to the athletes and officials for the fight that they displayed in Hanoi.
"There is definitely much to be grateful for — the great health and well-being of our national team members, our volleyball community and especially the two bronze medals garnered in this year's SEA Games by both the men's and women's beach volleyball teams," Ng said.
Ng added: "We are grateful for each other and the common understanding and desire to raise the level of competition and skill level of our athletes. Our national teams just need more time and international tournament exposure to be more cohesive."
Besides Ng and the national team members, Rebisco business unit head Noric Ng and Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) president Ramon "Tats" Suzara and secretary general Donald Caringal also graced the occasion.
"Rebisco is grateful that the PNVF and the volleyball community is so supportive and everyone is working to uplift the sport so we can get better," Noric Ng said. "We know how challenging it has been for everyone to work and train against all odds because of the pandemic. Fortunately, things are getting better but we shouldn't forget what we went through to get where we are today. It makes all the triumphs that much sweeter."