The country’s hosting of two world-class tournaments in June turned fever pitch on Tuesday following the inspection of venues and facilities by International Volleyball Federation Event Manager Thanathorn “Tom” Suwannamai.
The Philippine National Volleyball Federation is hosting Week 2 of the women’s preliminary round of the Volleyball Nations League from June 14 to 19 and Week 2 of the men’s pool matches from June 21 to 26.
Both tournaments the world’s top eight volleyball nations for both genders will be played at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Tickets will start selling on April 17.
Thanathorn arrived Monday and was accompanied by PNVF officials during his inspection of the iconic Big Dome on Tuesday. He also inspected the training venues—Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan and Meralco Gym in Pasig City.
“This is perfect. This is good. This is one of the better ones,” said Thanathorn while inspecting the stands of the Araneta Coliseum together with PNVF Secretary-General Don Caringal and members of the local organizing committee.
Thanathorn said he’s aware of the massive fan base that volleyball has in the country and is looking forward to the two tournaments.
“I heard good things about Philippine volleyball fans and I’m so excited,” said the Thai FIVB official.
Thanathorn also witnessed the contract signing between the PNVF and VNL host broadcaster Cignal TV at the Crowne Plaza in Quezon City.
He had dinner at the Bonifacio Global City with the Vietnam Southeast Asian Games-bound national beach volleyball players who’re fresh from a successful training camp in Brisbane, Australia.
On Wednesday, Thanathorn will meet with PNVF officials also at Crowne Plaza and he will be watching Game 1 of the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference Finals between Creamline and PetroGazz at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Thanathorn will fly back to the FIVB headquarters in Lausanne on Thursday.
Three-time VNL champion and Tokyo Olympics gold medalist United States banner the women’s pool that includes reigning Asian champion Japan, Southeast Asian queen Thailand, China, Poland and Canada.
Tokyo Olympics gold France leads the men’s side and will be challenged by fan favorite Japan, Slovenia, Argentina, Italy, Germany and The Netherlands.
Russia was originally part of the VNL in both genders but was sanctioned because of the Ukraine crisis.