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Tony Liao expects stiffer competition in Philippines’ VTV Cup debut

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The Philippines recently announced that they will be participating in the 2015 VTV Cup in Bạc Liêu Gymnasium, in Bạc Liêu, Vietnam, to represent the Philippines in this international tournament. Aside from the Philippines, five other teams will be partaking in the event.

With multiple local tournaments already ongoing, it was difficult to find available players to participate in this tournament. LVPI Official, Tony Boy Liao, shared with Tiebreaker Times in an interview that while the country was given limited time to finalize a lineup, he hopes that the team will be able to perform well.

“Actually the VTV Cup, this’ll be the first time the Philippines will be participating. As you know we just finished participating in the SEA Games, and with this scheduled VTV Cup, we were asked by Vietnam to participate. Unfortunately we haven’t had a lot of time to prepare. Para mapagbigyan yung Vietnam, we are participating.”

“We tried to get players who are available for the VTV Cup. We formed a team of those who are available. We’re sending 11 players, and these 11 are willing to play for the country. Most likely ang training niyan maiksi nanaman. Hopefully they can perform well. “

In a surprising turn of events, four of the initial 11 players were ruled unable to make the trip to Vietnam. According to Julius Manicad of The Daily Tribune, Honey Royse Tubino and Jovelyn Gonzaga of Army, and Rhea Dimaculangan and Maika Angela Ortiz of Air Force were unable to get a detailed service order, which allows enlisted athletes to join other teams.

Tiebreaker Times Tony Liao expects stiffer competition in Philippines' VTV Cup debut

The RP VTV Cup 2015 Team (From: Aby Marano’s Instagram)

In a scramble to fill up the missing pieces in the roster, the LVPI was able to recruit three additional players to represent the country. Alyssa Eroa, Sheila Marie Pineda, and Mary Grace Masangkay answered the National Team’s call and just put the team at the minimum number of players needed to participate in the event.

Liao expects the competition to be fiercer than the recent SEA Games, since the scope of the tournament will be the whole of Asia.

“Vietnam was telling me there are six countries who are participating in this event. These six countries will probably be much stronger than the SEA Games because the VTV Cup is not only South East Asia, it is the whole Asia. Meron diyan Kazakhstan and may club team from China, so this is much stronger.”

Liao also mentioned that initially it was the PVF who wanted to send a team for the tournament, but as the organization is no longer recognized by the AVC, it fell on the LVPI to send a team.

“We were invited a month ago for us to participate. As you know there’s the problem with the old PVF and the LVPI. PVF actually wanted to send a team, but as you know they are not being recognized anymore by the AVC. So AVC told them to talk to LVPI. They wanted to have a team from the Philippines.”

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