Philippine volleyball got another shot in the arm following the entry of lighting giant Akari as a principal partner of the Philippine National Volleyball Federation’s national women’s team program.
The Akari-PNVF partnership was formally forged in a luncheon-press conference in a Pasay City restaurant on Friday with PNVF president Ramon “Tats” Suzara expressing gratitude to Akari’s support for the national team that will see action in the Asian Volleyball Confederation Cup the country is hosting from August 21 to 29 at the PhilSports Arena.
“Today is a milestone for the PNVF. This is just the start with new, young fresh players for the AVC Cup,” Suzara said in the event graced by Akari Sports Director Russel Balbalcal and team manager Mozzy Ravena.
PNVF Secretary—Don Caringal, Deputy Secretary General for International Affairs Ricky Palou, National Team Committee chairperson Tony Boy Liao and national team coaches Jorge de Brito, Odgie Mamon, George Pascua, Tina Salak and national women’s team manager Fe Moran.
“We are looking forward to help the national team the every way we can,” said Balbalcal, who represented Akari President Christopher Tiu.
With Akari’s support of the national team, Ravena emphasized the company’s slogan for its volleyball campaign that started with a juniors program in 2016.
“Alagang Akari,” Ravena said.
De Brito and Liao also jointly announced a 22-member pool that will compete in the AVC Cup, the second major international volleyball tournament that the PNVF is hosting in two months after the highly successful men and women tournament of the Volleyball Nations League last week.
“It will be an almost all-UAAP [University Athletic Association of the Philippines] team that we are fielding in the AVC Cup,” de Brito said.
Ateneo’s Faith Nisperos and AC Miner and Adamson University’s Trisha Genesis and Louie Romero are part of the pool. They also attended the contract signing ceremony on Friday.
The other members of the pool are De La Salle’s Alleiah Jan Malaluan, Thea Allison Gagate, Leila Jane Cruz, Mereophe Aevangelin Sharma, Jolina de la Cruz and Marionne Angelique Alba; National University’s Jennier Nierva, Alyssa Jane Solomon, Ivy Keith Lacsina, Michaela Belen, Camille Victoria Lamina and Camille Cal; University of Santo Tomas’s Maria Bernadeth Pepito, Ejiya Laure and Imee Kim Gabriela Hernandez; Ateneo’s Vanessa Gandler; and University of the Philippines’ Alyssa Bertolano;
The non-UAAP players in the pool are California Precision Sports’ Casiey Dongallo and Jelaica Gajiero.
Akari, which has committed to the sport of volleyball with its grassroots work since 2015, as well as its support of the Adamson University sports program, particularly with women’s volleyball, men’s basketball and cheerdance.