MANILA, Philippines — Despite its initial non-inclusion in the draw, the Philippine men’s volleyball team will still compete in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia in May.
A day after the list from Cambodia SEA Games Organizing Committee showed that the men’s national team was not included, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino bared to Inquirer Sports their appeal to still include the squad and hold a re-draw has been granted by the organizers.
“Makakasali na yung Philippines (men’s volleyball team),” said Tolentino over the phone. “Pinasasalamatan natin yung members ng Asiad Federation Council and of course yung officers and high-canking officials ng CAMSOC for granting the reconsideration. Marami nagtulong tulong lahat for the sake of camaraderie and friendship ng Games.”
(The Philippines will join the [men’s volleyball competition]. We’re thankful to the members of the Asiad Federation Council and of course, the officers and high-ranking officials of CAMSOC for granting the reconsideration. We got a lot of help for the sake of camaraderie and friendship.)
POC said a clerical oversight led to a late or no entry of the team members’ names that initially excluded the national men’s volleyball squad from the draw on Wednesday.
“There was an error in the encoding of the names, but we were able to input the Entry By Numbers so they [Cambodia] went ahead with the draw without us,” Tolentino said in Filipino.
“We appealed to all the channels. We asked for help from the Asiad Federation members and all the ambassadors. Until they convene a meeting and decided to reconsider. We’re really thankful for all the people from Asiad and CAMSOC and Cambodia’s volleyball federation for helping us.”
CAMSOC released a statement on Thursday saying it “supports and permits” a re-draw and the inclusion of the Philippine men’s volleyball team after further deliberation among Chairman Samdech Pichey Sena Tea Banh, Secretary General Vath Chamroeun, and Cambodia Volleyball Federation president Neth Savoeun.
CAMSOC said at least five National Olympic Committees, POC included, need to permit the re-draw.
But Tolentino, who received personal thanks from Philippine National Volleyball Federation president Tats Suzara, is confident that other competing countries will also support the late inclusion of the Philippine men’s volleyball team.
“There will be a redraw. We’re just waiting for the letters [from other countries] that they also agree and support,” he said.
The Philippine men’s volleyball team, led by skipper Vince Mangulabnan and Jau Umandal, will be flying to Japan on Easter Sunday for a 15-day training camp.
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