The future of volleyball is in Asia — Graca

Published June 24, 2022, 1:59 PM

by Kristel Satumbaga-Villar

FIVB President Dr. Ary Graca believes Asia will be a world power in volleyball in five years.

“The future is in Asia,” Graca said in Friday’s press briefing at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Taguig City.

Graca noted the performances of Asian countries particularly China and Thailand, which have been playing in high-class tournaments to date.

The performances of Asian countries in the ongoing Volleyball Nations League are also a clear example on why Asia is on track to make a rise in volleyball.

Japan currently leads the overall women’s standings, becoming the only unbeaten team with eight victories ahead of the United States, Brazil and Italy.

Also in the top 10 of the women’s leg are Turkey, China and Thailand.

The men’s team also saw Japan, Iran and China making a bid on top, with Iran recently stunning the United States in straight sets last Thursday in Sofia, Bulgaria.

“This is the kind of evolution we need,” Grace said.

“We came here to transfer knowledge, to help them empower the development of national teams… I’m quite sure here in Southeast Asia, all the countries can do their part,” she added, pertaining to the country’s hosting of the second week of the men’s and women’s VNL legs.

Graca also believes the Philippines can be better in the future.

“You have everything. You have people interested in volleyball, a lot of players, in that case, you’re just missing good coaches. That’s what we provide, and the best equipment to those players,” Graca said.

“You have to go step by step. Start winning regional championships and so on.”

Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) President Tats Suzara thanked Graca and the organizers for the opportunity and support it has been giving to the country.

“The support of FIVB and volleyball is tremendous. We will work harder to reach that level,” Suzara said.

“By raising the level of our national team, who knows in the future, we could play in the VNL. This is our wish.”