In a country where basketball is almost religion, it is very hard for a sport like men’s volleyball to gain traction.
Besides this, there has been a connotation that volleyball is a women’s game.
But Philippine Men’s National Volleyball Team stalwarts Marck Espejo and John Vic De Guzman hope that the Nationals’ recent success in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games has inspired boys to pursue a career in the sport.
After all, that was their main goal right from the get-go.
“Mas nangibabaw sa’min ‘yung gusto namin in the future na sana lumaki ‘yung men’s volleyball kasi ‘yun naman ‘yung pinaka-goal talaga namin eh.
“Siguro naging isa ‘to sa mga stepping stone para mas tangkilikin ‘yung volleyball, dahil nakakuha kami ng silver medal,” said PMNVT captain De Guzman in Tiebreaker Vodcasts’ 2OT, presented by SMART and supported by Team Phenom PH, hosted by broadcasters Carlo Pamintuan and Magoo Marjon.
“Kaming national team, parang nagiging instrument lang kami para sa younger generation na pagpursigehan pa ‘yung volleyball, na may future rin sa volleyball, hindi lang dahil number one sport natin basketball, may future rin sa volleyball,” Espejo echoed.
De Guzman and Espejo also expressed their utmost gratitude to Sports Vision’s Spikers’ Turf for giving the men’s volleyball an avenue to showcase their talents.
And the two believe that the revival of the league will greatly benefit the men’s scene as it will give youngsters hope that there is, after all, a life after collegiate volleyball.
“Ayun, dahil nga po sa Spikers’ Turf, siyempre ‘yung mga nasa high school and collegiate, after nun, siyempre meron silang inaayos pa na pwedeng paglaruan, at ayun nga ‘yung Spikers’ Turf,” said Espejo.
“Unang-una, nung nabigyan ng chance ‘yung men’s volleyball team to play for the clubs like ‘yung Spikers’ Turf,” added De Guzman.
“Sobrang laki ng pasasalamat namin kay tita Mozzy at sa mga bumubuo ng Spikers’ Turf dahil ito na ‘yung chance para mas marami na ‘yung ma-inspire na young volleyball players na lalaki na para hindi nila isipin na right after college, stop na ‘yung career nila.”