Volleyball: SEA Games players to suit up vs. Thailand, Japan in friendlies

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 07 2022 02:28 PM

The Philippine women's volleyball team will play against Thailand and Japan in a pair of exhibition matches this weekend. Photo courtesy of the PNVF
The Philippine women's volleyball team will play against Thailand and Japan in a pair of exhibition matches this weekend. Photo courtesy of the PNVF

MANILA, Philippines -- The players who represented the Philippines in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi will be back in action this weekend, when they take on two world-class teams from Thailand and Japan.

The Philippine women's team that placed fourth in the recent SEA Games in Hanoi will take on Thailand in a rematch on June 11, then play Japan on June 12.

Both matches will take place at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan as part of the International Challenge organized by the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF).

The men's team, coming off a fifth place finish in Hanoi, will also be in action. They play Japan on June 16 and Germany on June 27, still at the San Juan venue. 

PNVF president Ramon "Tats" Suzara confirmed on Tuesday that the same players who competed in the SEA Games will still be playing in the friendlies. Afterward, however, the national teams will undergo "re-organizing," especially in light of the results in Hanoi.

"We have the same lineup for the SEA Games in the exhibition matches," Suzara said in a press conference at the Araneta Coliseum. "But afterward, by July, we are re-organizing the national team and getting new players from the UAAP."

The national teams of Japan, Germany, and Thailand are coming to the Philippines for the Volleyball Nations League, which the country will be hosting for the first time.

The Japan and Thailand women's national teams are already on their way to Manila, having been requested by the PNVF to arrive early for the exhibition matches.

Also arriving are other teams in the women's division: Canada, Poland, Bulgaria, China, Belgium, and the United States, the reigning Olympic champions.

The teams will be coming from Turkey and the United States, where Week 1 games were held. 

Quezon City will host the Week 2 matches of the women's division at the Araneta Coliseum from June 14 to 19.


The Big Dome will also host the men's division of the VNL from June 21 to 26. Aside from Germany and Japan, set to arrive in the country are Slovenia, the Netherlands, Argentina, China, France, and Italy. 

The Volleyball Nations League (VNL) features the top 16 teams in the world, and Suzara is hopeful that hosting the event will inspire Filipino players to reach greater heights.

"We are not there, but I hope some day, we will be there and we will be a world-class team like Thailand," he said. "Hopefully, with the help of the private sector, we will be there in the future."

Tickets to both the VNL and the PNVF International Challenge are already on sale.