Home court advantage an edge for PH volleyball teams

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The representatives of volleyball national team wants to utilize their home court advantage as they compete for the elusive medal in the upcoming 30th Southeast Asian Games.

Dating back to 2005 SEA Games, the duo of Heidi Ilustre and Diane Pascua won the bronze in women’s beach volleyball. Since then, the Philippine volleyball teams cannot manage to sneak their way through the top three ranks.

Eager to win for the Philippines, the women’s teams composed of Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons, and Dzi Gervacio and Flormel Rodrigeuz, are locked in for the longtime dream of bringing home the bacon. While, going in with the same mentality is the men’s team of Edmar Bonono and Jude Garcia, and Anthony Arbasto and James Buytrago.

“With all the support we received, our teams are hoping to get far in this SEA Games,” said team manager Cha Soriano in Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Amelie Hotel in Manila.

She noted that Philippine Sports Commission and Rebisco as their biggest supporters.

Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc. (LVPI) training director Peter Cayco said that as a host, the Philippine team can register two pairs in each division.

The sporting event will be staged from November 29 to December 6 in Subic.

“We want our players to be in Subic early,” said Cayco. “We want our players to familiarize themselves with the viscosity (thickness and consistency) of the sand in the actual venue. That should give us the home court advantage.”

Competitions for the gold medal are representative athletes from New Zealand, Hong Kong, Palau, and SEA Games favorite Thailand.

“It will boil down to our commitment and mindset. But we worked very hard in training,” said Rondina, the former University of Santo Tomas star who won four beach volleyball titles in the UAAP.

“We just have to treat each game as a championship game,” she added.