By Jean Malanum

BEACH VOLLEYBALL. Philippine National Volleyball Federation president Ramon “Tats” Suzara (front, center) with (from left) Ayala Land Estate Development head Mark Manundo and vice president May Rodriguez, Philippine Sports Commission commissioner Olivia “Bong” Coo and PNVF secretary-general Donaldo llenge last week. The Philippines is hosting the final leg from Nov. 30-Dec. 3, 2023 in NuvCaringal during the launching of the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour (BPT) Chaali, Sta. Rosa City, Laguna. (Photo from PNVF)

MANILA – Players from 17 teams joining the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour (BPT) Challenge Philippine leg have arrived on Monday, three days before the event kicks off in Nuvali, Santa Rosa City, Laguna.

The teams are from Japan, Canada, USA, China, Japan, Brazil, Spain, Austria and Poland in the women’s division, and Turkiye, England, Australia, Ukraine, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal and Finland in the men’s divisions.

Elite beach volleyball players from The Netherlands, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Oman, Thailand, Latvia, New Zealand, Israel, Gambia, Morocco, Malaysia and Slovakia are expected to turn up this week.

“It’s world-class beach volleyball action all of four days,” said Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) president Ramon “Tats” Suzara, who expressed his gratitude to Ayala Land for providing one training and five competition courts in Nuvali.

There are 16 teams in each of the men’s and women’s main draw while 32 teams are vying in the qualification round also for each gender.

The qualification round will be held on Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with the main draw set on Friday starting at 9 a.m. and the final match at 9 p.m.

The round-of-16, quarterfinals, semifinals and finals will be played on Saturday and Sunday. Supporting the tournament are Ayala Land, Mikasa, Senoh, Philippine Sports Commission, Pinay In Action and Smart as gold sponsors and PLDT, Gatorade, Maynilad, Rebisco, Ayala Malls, Department of Tourism, CBPI, Club Laiya, Foton as bronze sponsors.

Representing the Philippines are Ran Abdilla and Jaron Requinton, James Buytrago and Rancel Varga, and Alche Gupiteo and Anthony Arbasto (men’s division) and Gen Eslapor and Dij Rodriguez and newbie Sofia Pagara and Khylem Progella (women’s division). They are coached by Brazilian coach Joao Luciano Kiodai and Mayi Molit-Pochina. (PNA)