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Palou says Romasanta should have supported gender test on Manganang in 2015

Former Indonesia Women’s Volleyball National Team ace Aprilia Manganang has been confirmed as a man last week after he underwent corrective surgery.

In a report by Indonesian website Liputan 6, Indonesian National Armed Forces General Andika Perkasa did not do any genital change operation, just a procedure to help in his hypospadias.

“As I said earlier, this operation is corrective surgery, so there is no sex change. Manganang is male and there is no physical change from female to male genital organs,” Andika said in the report about the now Army sergeant.

Looking back during Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association forum, former Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc secretary-general Ricky Palou rued that then-president Joey Romasanta should have supported his appeal to SINGSOC to perform a gender test on Manganang prior to the Philippines’ game against Indonesia back in the 2015 Southeast Asian Games.

“That was the Singapore SEA Games, I was disappointed during that tournament. When we went there, I actually filed a protest against that player. I wanted to have that player do a gender test. I don’t know why for some reason or another, Joey Romasanta, the then-president of the LVPI, did not want to pursue the gender test,” Palou said, adding that he had already given SINGSOC a $500 deposit for the protest.

“Him being the head of the delegation, he did not pursue this.”

Manganang dropped 13 points in the contest, leading his squad to a 25-22, 25-20, 25-14 triumph.

It was a crushing blow to the medal chances of the Filipinas since it put a bad start to their campaign. Though they were able to bounce back against Malaysia, the Philippines was swept by powerhouse Vietnam to end their chance of bagging bronze.

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“I personally feel if he did not play, we would have made it to the semifinals. I’m not saying we could beat them but we could have at least get a bronze,” lamented Palou.

Manganang’s case has been a hot issue in global volleyball since he was able to compete in the topflight competitions around the world. Just in 2019, he was named as the MVP of the Thai-Denmark Super League with Supreme VC.

The Indonesian NOC is now deliberating on what will happen to all the achievements Manganang and their women’s national volleyball team accomplished when he played.

Before going full-time with the military, Manganang retired in 2020.

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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