"Man" among women raises concern in SEA Games

ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 05, 2015 07:47 PM
Eto mas matindi pa kay Nancy (Navlata). Hindi talaga namin alam kung bakit sya naka-lineup --- Roger Gorayeb

SINGAPORE -- The Philippines will open its bid in the women's volleyball competition of the 28th Southeast Asian Games against Indonesia next week, but this early, coach Roger Gorayeb already raised some serious concern about an Indonesian player.

Her name is Aprilia Manganang.

Manganang, allegedly a hermaphrodite, could easily dominate the field as her body structure, strength, facial features and overall physical prowess is synonymous to a full-grown man. In fact, when Gorayeb and the National Team battled Indonesia in an Asian Qualifying for World Championship in Vietnam in 2009, Manganang was unstoppable and simply played like a man among the girls.

Hermaphroditism, or inter-sex, is a condition in which an individual possesses phyiscal traits of both male and female sexes. A perfect example is Filipino sprinter Nancy Navalta, who dominated the 1995 Chiang Mai Asian Games, as well as runner Stanislawa Walasiewicz, who emerged victoruouys in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.

Gorayeb admitted that they have yet to get specific information whether Manganang will play or not. But a quick check at the final lineup submitted to the SEA Games organizers showed that Mangnanang is included in the final roster of the Indonesian volleyball team.

"Ang worst na nababalitaan namin ngayon, may isang player sila na hermaphrodite. Lalaking lalaki talaga na hindi namin alam kung bakit sya naging babae," Gorayeb said. "Napakalaking disadvantage nun sa atin kasi kung maglaro at pumalo yun, lalaking lalaki."

"Eto mas matindi pa kay Nancy. Hindi talaga namin alam kung bakit sya naka-lineup."

The Philippines is bracketed in Group B together with Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia. It will face Indonesia on June 10 for an important victory that will give it a fighting chance to climb the semifinal ladder and achieve its target of winning the bronze medal.

"Unang araw pa lang namin do-or-die na agad. Mas mahirap pa ngayon na may Manganang na parang lalaki maglaro. Siguradong pahihirapan kami nun."

A Filipino in Ramon "Tats" Suzara -- a ranking official of the Asian Volleyball Confederation and the president of Philippine Superliga -- will be sitting as chairman of the control committee of volleyball.

The final roster of all teams will be submitted to Suzara on the general technical meeting a day before the start of the tournament.

Gorayeb, however, said that there's no need to file a formal protest, fully knowing that Suzara will surely do his best to level the playing field.

"Hindi na natin kailangang mag-protesta. May mga opisyales naman tayo na magi-screen nang mga entries sa technical meeting," Gorayeb said. "Kung walang gender test, lulusot yun. Pero kung may gender test yan, dyan sigurading hindi makakalaro yun."

"Hindi mo na naman kasi kailangan mag-protesta sa mga ganyan. Labanan mo na lang. Ibigay mo na lang lahat ng makakaya mo."


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