Local authorities are promoting the sport of volleyball the wrong way.
Take, for example, the 2016 FIVB Women’s Club World Championship that ended last Sunday at a ritzy mall by the Manila Bay.
Just eight teams took part in this so-called world championship but all of them fielded mostly pretty, stratospheric young ladies, including a former Playboy model, in a bid to ostensibly bring volleyball to the grassroots.
Man, the venue was anything but a bucolic, rural pocket in polluted Metro Manila and everything that qualified it to be a consumer heaven, dotted as it is with pricey shops and barely affordable restaurants, especially for a family on a tight budget.
The competition apparently was targeting the menfolk because the players were reportedly as skillful as they were eye candy.
Guys, however, don’t go to volleyball championships in these parts lest, in this corner’s opinion, they be labeled as gay.
To most of them, and this could apply to white men or black men, the sport is strictly for the ladies and the elderly, not for dating couples or macho men.
Besides, the organizers were not thinking ahead when they scheduled the games for this supposedly world-class tournament that also featured a “Filipino” team.
Nearing its conclusion, the tournament smacked into the PBA’s Ginebra-Meralco battle royale.
Did the local volleyball honchos really think that sports fans would ditch a much-awaited basketball game for a women’s volleyball match?
Sadly, the fans would not have a difficult time to decide even if the Azkals were playing for a spot in the knockout phase of the World Cup.
It takes more than possibilities of skin being partly bared or cleavage being partly exposed to entice people to a women’s volleyball game.
The so-called Philippine team in the championship at the mall was made up of locals and imports, which make-up only highlighted the fact that the supposedly FIVB-sanctioned tournament was no more than a “world-class” exhibition match.
Proof seems to be the fact that no high officials of the FIVB—the governing body of world volleyball—were present during the awarding ceremonies for the winner and the runners-up.
Also sadly, the Philippines only gained entry into the tournament because it was the host, and no offense meant to team members Rachel Daquiz and Jovelyn Gonzaga, who both can give any spikers a run for their volleyballs.
Promoting volleyball means that next time around, the local authorities should field Tina Salak and Thelma Rondina, lookers themselves and extremely good volleyball players.
If they are not happy with Tina and Thelma, they can get the services of Pia Wurtzbach, whose reign as Miss Universe is about to end anyway.