MANILA — The top collegiate volleyball teams in the country gather in Iloilo City starting next week for the holding of the Unigames Collegiate Grand Slam Cup at the San Agustin campus gym.
A total of 42 teams will be competing in indoor volleyball tournament — 24 men’s and 18 women’s — which will be renamed the ‘2nd Dominic Sytin Cup’, in honor of the late CEO of United Auctioneers Inc. and benefactor of the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons.
The beach volleyball tournament meanwhile, attracted a total of 14 and nine men’s and women’s teams, respectively, in what should be the biggest volleyball event this year nationwide.
Organizers and top officials of the Philippine Super Liga (PSL) and Unigames have partnered together for the Oct. 19 to 27 tournament.
“Traditionally, you will see mostly UAAP and NCAA teams like La Salle, UST, UP, NU, St. Benilde, Lyceum, and others coming over along with teams from the Visayas and Mindanao. Nationwide talaga yung participation dito (Our participation here is nationwide),” said PSL President Ian Laurel, who was with United Auctioneers Inc. President Rommel Sytin during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Amelie Hotel-Manila on Tuesday.
Laurel was grateful for Unigames President and chairman of technical and games committee Roger Banzuela for making the partnership with the PSL possible.
“It was enough for the biggest college volleyball league in the country to partner with the PSL. That alone gives us great pride and joy to have that kind of partnership,” added the PSL official in the weekly session presented by San Miguel Corp., Braska Restaurant, Amelie Hotel, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.
In return, the PSL will be giving out subsidies to competing teams in the form of equipment by providing nets and balls.
The league is also handing out the Dominic Sytin Perpetual Trophy to this year’s champion team.
For his part, Sytin also expressed gratitude to both PSL and Unigames for acknowledging the support his late brother has been given to the sport.
“I want to thank the PSL and Unigames for recognizing the effort of my late brother, who’s also a staunch supporter of UP,” he said.
“I want (this partnership) to last for a long time. Its’ worth it and it’s very ensuring to know that people support sport like what my brother had shown before.”
Added Laurel, “it’s not just the financial capability of the Sytin family, but for the love of Dominic for the sport, that really meant much more than the financial side. Yung pinakita ni Dominic na suporta sa (The support that Dominic showed to) women’s volleyball and at the college level when no one wants to support that team (UP), that made him very special to us.”
A total of 2,500 delegates are expected to compete in the 24th edition of the Unigames which has the theme, ‘The Games that Bring Us Together for Unity and Peace.’
Aside from volleyball, competitions will also be held in basketball, athletics, and football. (PR)