SEA Games: We will play Thailand in the Finals -- Suzara on PHI women's volleyball team
Mark Escarlote on May 17, 2018 06:47 PM
In fact, they asked me why in the SEA Games why volleyball is important. I just told them that we will play Thailand in the Finals -- Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee executive director Ramon 'Tats' Suzara
Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee executive director and Philippine volleyball figure Ramon ‘Tats’ Suzara believes that the national squad will have a great chance to land a podium finish when the country hosts the 30th edition of the biennial meet from November 30 to December 10 next year.
The men’s and women’s national squads participated in the last two SEA Games editions in Singapore and Malaysia after skipping the sport for a decade. However, the Nationals failed to land a medal both times.
“Of course, people were expecting to get a medal last year in Kuala Lumpur but it doesn’t take a year to prepare the national team. It takes two SEA Games to prepare the national team,” said Suzara, who is also the FIVB and Asian Volleyball Confederation marketing and development committee chairman.
PHI women’s volleyball team head coach Ramil De Jesus held two tryouts last month to form a new squad that will participate in the Asian Games in July and the Asian Cup in August.
Exposure in these major international competitions according to Suzara will equip the Pinay volleybelles in its search for a SEA Games medal. The Filipinas landed a bronze medal in the 2005 Manila edition and last won a gold medal back in 1993 in the Singapore meet.
“In fact, they asked me why in the SEA Games why volleyball is important. I just told them that we will play Thailand in the Finals,” said Suzara. “Our women’s volleyball has to play very well in the Asian Games and in the Asian Cup but our target is the SEA Games.”
“SEA Games is so important in our heart so we should play in the Finals,” he added. “Even our chef de mission Monsour Del Rosario asked me last night, ‘What do you think of our women’s volleyball? Can we play in the Finals?’ I just said that I’m always positive that our women’s volleyball should play in the Finals.”
Volleyball is considered as the second most popular sport in the country next to basketball.
The local organizing committee after the two-day SEA Games Federation Council meeting announced that volleyball games will be held at the Big Dome.
And Suzara is optimistic that fans will fill the venue to show their support.
“I’m sure (fans will fill the arena),” he said. “Of course, we have men’s volleyball and we have to give that attention. But I think out women’s national team has to work hard and with their experience in the Asian Games this year and the Asian Cup we should know where we are at the level. We should work hard. Our national team should work hard to reach this level in 2019.
“We still have a year and a half for our national team to be on top.”
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles