SENATOR Alan Peter Cayetano was chosen as the honorary chairman when the Philippine Superliga organizes the FIVB World Women’s Club Championship from Oct. 18 to 23.
In a meeting with PSL chairman Philip Ella Juico and PSL president Ramon “Tats” Suzara last Wednesday, Cayetano formally accepted the position and threw his all-out support behind the prestigious tournament that will feature eight of the best club teams in the world.
Cayetano said he will request incoming President Rodrigo Duterte to issue an executive order that will mobilize vital government agencies like the Philippine Sports Commission, Department of Tourism, Department of Health, Philippine National Police, Metro Manila Development Authority and Bureau of Immigration during the week-long volleyball festival.
He added that he will also request President-elect Duterte to serve as guest of honor and personally welcome the players, coaches and officials of club teams from Brazil, Thailand and Italy.
“This is such a prestigious event. The world will be watching as we open our doors to eight of the world’s best club teams,” said Cayetano, a volleyball enthusiast, whose sister in-law, Fille, saw action for Petron last year. “Rest assured that the government will throw its full support behind this exciting endeavor.”
Aside from Juico and Suzara, also welcoming Cayetano to the local organizing committee are Amb. Alfredo Yao as well as Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. president Joey Romasanta.
A distinguished businessman, Yao has been tapped as vice-chairman, while Romasanta sits as member of the powerful executive committee. Juico remains as the chairman while Suzara is the director general and FIVB executive committee member Gustav Jacobi is the president of the executive board.
Juico said having Cayetano on board is a major boost to the local organizing body.
“At least we’re now assured of government guarantee,” said Juico, the former PSC chairman who is also the president of the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association. “With the honorable Senator on board, we can now smoothly run this world-class tournament knowing that the government is behind us. This is major boost in raising the profile of volleyball in the country.”
Suzara also confirmed the arrival of International Volleyball Federation president Ary Graca together with some key officials of the world-governing volleyball body.
“He told me that he wants to meet our newly-elected President,” said Suzara, who is also a member of the Asian Volleyball Confederation and the FIVB. “We had a meeting in Japan two weeks ago and he was very eager to go here to serve as guest of honor and meet our President.”
“That’s why we have to put our best foot forward because the world will be watching.”
Brazil will be represented by South American powerhouse Rexona Ades while Thailand will be bannered by Bangkok Glass and Italy by Pomi Casalmaggiore. The Philippines, for its part, will parade a team of six stars from the PSL and six foreign players.
Four other foreign teams are expected to join via wildcard.