Thursday, May 21, 2015

Fair Play: Will LVP reincarnate PVF's woes?

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's May 21 edition)
SO the Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas has just received recognition from the FIVB (International Volleyball Federation) as the national sport association for volleyball in the country, and I hope this ends t he political infighting in volleyball.

I hope, too, that now LVP is recognized as a national sports association, it will really become a national sports association, and not commit the same mistake as its predecessor and think that “national” only covers Manila.

Volleyball is the second-most popular sport in the country, next to basketball, and LVP only needs to look at the defunct Basketball Association of the Philippines for some valuable lessons. The BAP, is the PVF of the SBP, the recognized NSA for basketball in the country but years after the new group got recognition, BAP is still alive.

Why? Because outside Manila, you can’t feel the presence of the SBP and it’s in these places where BAP’s ghost haunts. Who can blame those who accept BAP tournaments if the official NSA ignores them?

Will LVP walk the same path?

I hope not. Because of the growing popularity of volleyball, it must do its mandate, to be the national governing body for the sport, not the governing body for the sport in the national capital region. Excuse me for being redundunt but those are two different things that some NSAs fail to see.

I am for one NSA and all, but if the regions get ignored in the years to come, can you blame them if they align themselves with remnants of the PVF, just so they can have a program, or even a tournament? That’s what happening with remnants of BAP, right?

So now it is the recognized NSA, I hope LVP gathers volleyball stakeholders all over the country--previous alliances with the PVF be damned. To move forward, the rest of the country must recognized that the LVP is the NSA and the LVP, in turn, must assure that their programs will reach out to schools outside of the NCAA or the UAAP and provinces and cities outside Manila.

Cebu, for one, had a great volleyball program in the Governor’s Cup, and has a Palaro achiever in Catmon. Gretchel Soltones, just 19, who played for the country in the Asian U23 competition and who will be suiting up, too, in the Southeast Asian Games, is from Catmon.

After such a tough fight to get recognition, I hope and pray the LVP won’t become just another incarnation of the PVF.

Philippine volleyball needs it to help Philippine volleyball.

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