UAAP tournament director talks about the merits of having the juniors play at same venue as their seniors

ABS-CBN Sports on Sep 26, 2017 03:42 PM
UAAP high school volleyball receives a shot in the arm
UAAP high school volleyball tournament director Otie Camangian.

"Giving our junior teams the same playing conditions as their seniors is a big development for boys and girls who are preparing for their transition to college play. It is a prudent move.”

That’s UAAP high school volleyball tournament director Otie Camangian speaking.

In volleyball-power Thailand, elementary pupils, he added, are already playing on rubber-surfaced courts of international standard.

“That’s how you develop world-class players. Start them young in a venue equipped with the right court and right equipment. By giving our juniors the right facilities, we are in effect protecting the breeding ground from which our future international players will be sourced.”

Camangian should know whereof he speaks. After all he is a multi-achiever.

As a Growling Tiger he played a key role in University of Santo Tomas’ two championships and two second-place finishes in the UAAP. He was also a many-time member of the national team, having taken part in four Southeast Asia Games.

He obtained a doctorate in Physical Education, served as secretary general of the Philippine Amateur Volleyball Association, returned to the UAAP as its volleyball commissioner for nine years, and is now serving the league as tournament director in high school volleyball as an appointee of sub-host National University.

Speaking fondly of his long stint as UAAP commissioner, the work, he said, was what weakened his eyesight. “Dito na nag-umpisang lumabo ang mata ko. I had to be present from the first game to the last in the UAAP. On non-playing days there was the mountain of paperwork to go through like reports and players’ eligibilities.”

NU is reportedly grooming Camangian for a directorship in the school’s Sports Academy now under construction in Laguna.


UAAP always leads

Getting its junior players to compete in a venue only previously reserved for the nation’s major tournaments is, according to Camangian, another innovation started by the UAAP locally.

Did you know that the UAAP under Camangian’s nine-year commissionership had introduced two earlier innovations that were later adopted by the International Volleyball Federation?

These were, believe it or not, the video challenge the league introduced in Season 75 but which was abandoned the next year, and the 14-man lineup begun much earlier during Season 69.

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