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Veloso: Filipinos face ‘very good opportunity’


Brazilian mentor Sergio Veloso expressed elation over reports that the country will be hosting the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship next year.

Veloso, a seasoned international tactician who now handles the men’s national team and the Ateneo de Manila University women’s team, said the hosting is such a good opportunity for Philippine volleyball.

Aside from having local fans witness world-class volleyball action, the Filipino spikers will also get a taste of topnotch competition as they will be given an automatic slot in the 32-nation tournament for being the host country.

“This is a very good opportunity for Philippine volleyball,” said Veloso following the Blue Eagles’ 15-25, 25-27, 25-23, 28-26, 13-15 setback to University of Santo Tomas in Season 86 University Athletic Association of the Philippines women’s volleyball tournament late Wednesday.

Veloso said it is not yet late as the national squad can still prepare in a bid to put up a good fight against the best volleyball teams in the world.

“What’s important is if you have a strong national team, (it can trickle down) to different colleges and different groups — and everybody (will) improve together,” he said.

In a statement late Wednesday, the International Volleyball Federation formally awarded the hosting of the prestigious event to the Philippines.

FIVB president Ary Graca said they are confident that the Filipinos can pull off a successful hosting similar to what they did in the FIBA Basketball World Cup last year.

“We are confident that the Philippines, supported by our innovative Volleyball Empowerment program, will host an extraordinary World Championship that will leave a lasting legacy and help to cultivate an even brighter future for our sport globally,” Graca said during the awarding of the hosting rights at the FIVB headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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