News & Updates

‘We’re Now A Volleyball Country,’ Alyssa Valdez Says at VNL 2024

This story is powered by PLDT Home, the official local partner of the Volleyball Nations League 2024. Catch the latest in sports with PLDT Home Fiber Unli All Plan 1799 which comes with unlimited Fiber, unlimited entertainment from Cignal, and free mobile calls.

After seeing the overwhelming support of the Filipino crowd at the VNL 2024, three-time PVL MVP of Creamline Alyssa Valdez was confident enough to proclaim the Philippines as a volleyball nation. 

“I think right now, we’re a volleyball country, we’re a volleyball nation,” Valdez told reporters at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, which was packed with over 12,000 fans who cheered for Team Japan and Team U.S.A. 

The sold-out final day of the Manila leg of the VNL 2024 was thanks to crowd favorites Team Japan, aka Ryujin Nippon, and Team U.S.A. Filipinos could be heard cheering for U.S.A.’s libero Erik Shoji. Meanwhile, while volleyball darling Ran Takahashi was missing the action in the VNL, Filipinos still cheered loudly for Japan during intense rallies. 

“It’s so nice to see a jampacked arena,” added Valdez, who noticed how every team had Filipinos cheering for them throughout the weeklong run of the VNL in Manila. But the crowd support for the U.S.A. and Japan were on a different level. 

Despite the Philippines not competing in the VNL, Filipino crowds still supported participating countries such as France, Netherlands, Iran, Germany, Brazil, and Poland, but crowds most notably went out in full force for Team Japan and Team U.S.A. 

Team USA at the VNL 2024
Team U.S.A. at the VNL 2024

“It’s so nice that they’re all cheering for both USA and Japan. It’s a great scenario and situation inside the MOA Arena,” Valdez said.

By the Numbers: Crowd Attendance

The UAAP, NCAA, and PVL are the three most popular volleyball leagues in the Philippines. Just last month in May, the three leagues drew over 42,000 warm bodies to their volleyball matches. On May 5, a thunderous crowd of 24,010 packed the Mall of Asia Arena for UAAP’s Men’s Volleyball Finals between FEU and UST. 

On the same day, nearly 17,830 volleyball fans trooped to Araneta Coliseum to watch the PVL semis Choco Mucho vs Petro Gazz, and Creamline vs Chery Tiggo.

But in December 2023, the PVL drew a record-setting crowd of 24,459 during the finals match between Choco Mucho and Cool Smashers. The two sister teams have the biggest fan bases in the PVL. 

With the growing support of volleyball across different divisions, and with the boost provided by the VNL 2024 in Manila, Valdez hopes fans will also support Spikers’ Turf, in which she sits as president. 

 “We’re just really hoping that the support of the volleyball community here in the Philippines and all over the world will continue,” Valdez told reporters at the VNL on June 23. 

“Hopefully, (the VNL) will help us improve, and I hope that this will inspire more fans to watch the Spikers’ Turf and other volleyball games as we support the other teams here in the VNL,” she said. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *