‘Cebu’s crazy dream’

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Monday, February 17, 2014


IN order for Cebu City to send the best team to represent the country in the upcoming international tournaments, aspiring players will have to pass through the Cebu City Olympic Development Program, also called the “Million League,” which will open this Saturday at the sand court in Plaza Independencia.

Philippine Sports Comission (PSC) beach volleyball consultant Eric Lecain said they want to attract top teams to Cebu by putting up high-level tournaments.

“This program is designed to prepare players to play at the international level and to break through to the medal rounds. It is something that has not been done before,” said Lecain.

Lecain said that Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC) Chairman Edward Hayco is convinced that this will eventually lead to a team qualifying for the Olympics.

“This may sound crazy, but actually it is entirely possible due to the new process of the qualifiers,” said Lecain.

Based on the Federation Internationale De Volleyball (FIVB) website, there will be 12 slots in the beach volleyball event of the 2016 Olympics. Two teams will come from the 2015 World Cup, one from the 2015 Continental Championships or a Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament and one team from each of the four qualifiers in 2016.

Lecain said that though this could be a very tough journey, he hopes Cebu will be able to reach it, saying “Nothing is impossible if we set our hearts on that dream.”

Lecain said that in the past, when there was an international tournament, the Philippines would put up a team only a few weeks prior the event and there was never a steady training program. With this, the players play all the time, whether there is an international tournament or not, and they also get special training.

“Cebu has the talent to win an international tournament. I think we finally have the solution to make history,” said Lecain.

Lecain also hopes they can send a team to the Asian Games this September through this tournament.

“That is the main purpose. We don’t just send any team, we want to send the best team. This tournament will decide,” said Lecain.

Up to now, the Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF) has not yet officially given the recognition that the teams from Cebu will make the national team despite Cebu winning the Philippine National Games (PNG) twice in the men’s division and once in the women’s division.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 18, 2014.

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