This year, we’ve seen champions defend their title and crowned new ones. We’ve seen stars shine and young hitters own the spotlight. We’ve seen players and coaches win titles on different teams from different leagues. It’s been a wild year for Philippine volleyball – a year where the intensity, drama, and following of the game have constantly been on the rise.
There’s simply no denying that volleyball has caught the attention of many, with fans constantly growing in numbers both locally and internationally. But what fueled the surge of volleyball this year?
Names of young volleybelles such as Rachel Ann Daquis, Abigail Marano, Alyssa Valdez, Dindin Manabat, and Jaja Santiago, and more, have become household names for the right reason – for being winners. From the Philippine Superliga to the Shakey’s V-league, most teams have at least two young stars that made their way to the top as early as when they were still in the UAAP.
The the country’s premiere collegiate league is filled with talent. From fierce rivalries to the passionate support of their communities, the UAAP has become an excellent training ground for young volleyball stars to prepare them for the pros.
Recently, Philippine volleyball leagues have welcomed import players in an effort to increase the competitiveness and intensity of the games. As a result, the game has improved in leaps and bounds while exposing our players to international-caliber talent.
In 2005, the Philippine national women’s team brought home the Bronze medal in the Southeast Asian Games. However, the next time the national squad competed internationally came 8 years later at the 2013 Asian Women’s Volleyball Championships.
This year, some of the crème de la crème of women’s volleyball united to bring glory to our country at the 2015 SEA Games. Proving they can hold their own against some of Southeast Asia’s best by finishing 7th overall, the national squad gained massive support from Filipinos all over the world.
From hard-hitting championships to high-flying global games, Philippine volleyball has given its millions of fans numerous reasons to be excited. TV networks and online channels have done a great job in promoting the hype as well as taking the fans to where the action is.
Today, the SVL and PSL have at least two televised tournaments each year. Leagues have been pushing for continuous growth as well as several sponsors contributing to the growth of the game as well as local talents through developmental programs and local tournaments. With our heavy-hitters still young and have proven they can shine on the international stage, fans have discovered a renewed sense of optimism for the future of Philippine volleyball.