MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Superliga (PSL) announced its commitment to the country's hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games with a series of events that will also help the preparations of the national women's volleyball team.
The 2019 PSL invitational championship, that features the 8 teams bannered by All-Filipino conference champion F2 Logistics, will be compressed to only 10 match days within the period of September 24 to October 17 in order to give way to the regional biennial meet.
"We’re trying to align ourselves with the program of Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas Inc and our national team to give support to the SEA Games," said PSL Vice President Ian Laurel on Tuesday, September 17, during the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association forum at Amelie Hotel.
But the PSL will not be ending its activities for the year after the invitational championship, as it will be organizing the Philippine leg of the SEA Grand Prix and the inaugural PSL Super Cup in November.
The SEA Grand Prix – which will see action from the Philippines and Southeast Asian powerhouses Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia – will occur from September 20 to 22, 2019 at Nakor Ratschima in Thailand.
PSL confirmed the Philippine leg will be held on October 4 to 6, at the Sta. Rosa Sports Complex, which will ramp up the national team's bid for a SEA Games podium finish that was last achieved by the 2005 SEA Games bronze medal team.
However, Indonesia backed out of the Philippines-hosted SEA Grand Prix, resulting to the PSL's plan of forming a selection team composed of 2 members from each club.
On the other hand, the PSL Super Cup will serve as another tune-up tournament for the national team, which will feature invited teams from Asia as well as two PSL selection teams.
According to PSL Finance head and LVPI secretary-general Ariel Paredes, the University of Tsukuba volleyball team has confirmed its attendance.
Paredes, though, is looking to stack up the competition by inviting a team from Chinese-Taipei to participate in the PSL pocket tournament.
Laurel also added that the PSL selection teams will have a public voting segment, as the league wants to factor in the "dream team" of volleyball fans.
"We’re thinking of having the fans vote, so that they can create that dream team they've been talking about."
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.