(FROM L-R) — PNVF President Ramon ‘Tats’ Suzara with Volleyball World CEO Finn Taylor, Senator Pia Cayetano, Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco, PSC Chairman Richard Bachmann and POC Secretary-General Atty. Warton Chan. — PNVF

FOR THE SECOND straight year, the Philippines could be the mecca of the world sporting event once again.

The country, led by the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF), yesterday presented its final bid for the hosting of the prestigious Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) Volleyball Men’s World Championship on Sept. 12 to 28, 2025, following the successful staging of the FIBA Basketball World Cup last year.

PNVF President Ramon “Tats” Suzara, accompanied by government officials led by Department of Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco and Senator Pia Cayetano, pitched an irresistible bid much to the delight of the FIVB officials. “Teamwork makes the dream work and this meeting is a first major step towards the dream of a successful bid and eventual hosting of the men’s world championship,” said Mr. Suzara during the bid meeting at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

“The PNVF continues its mission to serve volleyball to all its stakeholders starting with the Philippines and later on, hopefully, the rest of the world.”

Mr. Suzara also served as the chief implementor and master planner for the rousing staging of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 here on top of his feat of delivering the renowned Volleyball Nations League (VNL) in the Philippines for two straight years.

The VNL, attended regularly in groves by Filipino volleyball fans despite having no local team, showed a glimpse of the country’s asset in being a host of an event of such magnitude. “We see a massive potential in the Philippines. We decided to bring the VNL here two years ago and the fandom was crazy. We’re overwhelmed. The Love from the people here was unique that all the volleyball players are dreaming for,” said Guido Betti, Chief Business Officer of Volleyball World.

“The VNL last year at the MOA Arena was the best event of the VNL and we had 14 stops around the world. It shows that the country has embraced the best of volleyball,” added Volleyball World chief executive officer (CEO) Finn Taylor.

The bidding winner from 31 interested countries to now a “final few” candidates will be announced next month with the PNVF hoping for the stars to align that would give the Philippines an automatic slot in the 32-team world tilt as host. Slovenia and Poland hosted the 2022 edition won by Italy.

Like the FIBA World Cup, up on the table are the renowned Mall of Asia Arena and the Smart Araneta Coliseum as playing venues with world-class hotels like Shangri-La, Grand Hyatt, Diamond Hotel, Conrad and Seda housing the teams, players and officials.

Rizal Memorial Coliseum, Ninoy Aquino Stadium and the PhilSports Arena, under the care of the Philippine Sports Commission (POC) headed by chairman Richard Bachmman, and the FilOil EcoOil Center are the training sites being eyed. — John Bryan Ulanday