Volleyball Fans Treated to World-Class Action at Men's VNL 2024 in Pasay City


Filipino volleyball fans were in for a treat as eight of the world's top teams showcased their skills in the recently concluded Volleyball Nations League (VNL) held in the Philippines for the third consecutive year. Powered by PLDT Home, VNL Pasay City captivated thousands of fans across six days of high-octane volleyball action at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. The competition featured elite teams from Japan, the United States, France, Iran, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and Brazil.

The Road to Lodz: Final Round and Olympic Qualifiers

The VNL, comprising 16 teams, saw the top eight teams advance to the Final Round set to be held in Lodz, Poland, home of the defending champions. This year's VNL carried extra significance as the last FIVB-sanctioned tournament serving as an Olympic qualifier, with 12 teams filling up the slots for the upcoming Olympics on Sunday. Making the cut are defending bronze medalist Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, reigning gold medalist France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, and the United States. The Russian Olympic Committee, silver medalist in the Tokyo Olympics, did not qualify, even under the Individual Neutral Athletes Delegation (INA) banner.

VNL Pasay City: Four Teams Headed to Playoffs

Led by the crowd-favorite Japanese team, which ended the three-week eliminations with a 9-3 record, the playoff-bound teams include defending Olympic gold medalist France (8-4) and Brazil (6-6). 

Canada, which first arrived in Manila with a 4-4 slate, emerged unscathed with an 8-4 record, securing a spot in the top eight with an impressive performance. On the other side of the bracket are Slovenia (11-1), Poland (10-2), Italy (9-3), and Argentina (6-6).

Japan Edges Out the United States in Historic Win

In a surprising turn of events, Japan edged out the United States for the first time in FIVB play. Despite the Americans fielding their reserves due to elimination with a 5-6 record, and Japan doing the same with two key players out due to injury, the game ended in a sweep for Japan, winning 25-20, 25-23, 25-19. Kento Miyaura led the way for Ryujin Nippon with 18 points, including five aces, to conclude their Philippine campaign on a high note.

Netherlands’ Struggles and Nimir Abdel-Aziz's Uncertain Future

Despite team captain Nimir Abdel-Aziz emerging as the tournament’s runaway scoring leader, the Netherlands finished 13th out of 16 teams with a 3-9 record. Nimir hinted at a potential departure from the national team, signaling a shift to a newer, younger generation of players.

Enhanced Fan Experience at VNL Pasay City

The VNL has significantly boosted volleyball’s popularity in the Philippines, with fan zones offering opportunities to interact with players, take selfies, sign autographs, and more. Fans also enjoyed posing with life-sized player standees and VNL logos throughout the MOA Arena.

Canada Sweeps Manila Assignments

Led by Stephen Maar and Eric Loeppky, the Canadian team swept their four assignments in the tournament, earning a spot in the Final Eight. Canada is set to have a rematch with Japan in the knockout quarterfinals.

PLDT High Speed Hitters Delight Fans

PLDT Home brought in their stars to interact with fans, handing out photocards and engaging in various activities at their booth. Fans enjoyed live game viewing, charging stations, volleyball skills practice through Nintendo Switch games, and photo printing services.

Countdown to the 2025 FIVB Men's World Championship

The Philippines is set to host the 2025 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship, featuring 32 teams, including the Philippines, in the largest-ever edition of the global volleyball showpiece. This event follows other high-profile international sporting events hosted by the Philippines, including the 2023 FIBA World Cup and the inaugural FIFA Futsal Women's World Cup.

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