COMING off a successful Week 2 of the Quezon City women’s leg, the world’s best in the men’s side will take centerstage in the next six days as the Volleyball Nations League continues Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Asian power Japan takes on Tokyo Olympic bronze medalists Argentina at 7 p.m. right after European rivals Slovenia and Netherlands take the floor at 3 p.m.
Also competing in the Week 2 are Tokyo Games gold medalist France, European champions Italy, China and Germany.
The Japanese, French, Italians and Germans will carry 3-1 records in the Philippine leg, as the race for the seven berths in next month’s VNL Finals in Bologna, Italy heat up.
Sporting 2-2 slates are the Dutch and Slovenians, while the Argentinians and the Chinese have identical 1-3 cards.
Unbeaten United States and defending champion Brazil are playing in Sofia, Bulgaria along with six other teams.
The VNL women’s Quezon City leg concluded on Sunday night, with Japan extending its perfect run to eight matches following a 19-25, 25-16, 25-23, 25-12 triumph over Asian rival China before more than 6,000 fans at the Big Dome.
The world’s best women’s volleyball athletes were warmly received by the fans during those six days, which is expected to be replicated in the men’s competition.
“I just want to say THANK YOU to the volleyball community in Manila! Everyone here has been so hospitable and encouraging! It was so much fun getting to play in front of these volleyball- loving crowds. Hope to be back!,” USA middle blocker and Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Chiaka Ogbogu posted on her Twitter account.
The Americans went perfect in four Quezon City matches as legendary coach Karch Kiraly shuffled his roster – a mix of rising stars led by Ali Frantti and veterans led by Kelsey Robinson.
“You guys have been so welcoming, so supportive; like your fans are so unbelievable, and we appreciate your hospitality. So, really thank you so much from all of USA,” said Frantti after her squad defeated Southeast Asian power Thailand.
The event has Mikasa, Ganten, Gerflor and Senoh as global sponsors and global suppliers, PLDT Home as presenting partner, Rebisco, MG Philippines, TOP Speed Insurance, Asics and Maynilad as official sponsors, Havas Ortega, The Look Company, Summit Outdoor Media, The Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Marketing Media Ventures, Strong Media Advertising Solutions. 91.5 Win Radio, Philippine Olympic Committee, Philippine Sports Commission, City of Taguig, Quezon City and F2 Logistics as official suppliers.