Philippine Superliga

PSL eyes Subic beach volley bubble in November

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‘At least we have a representation for the female gender in sports going into the new normal,’ says PSL president Ian Laurel on the return of beach volleyball

The Philippine Superliga (PSL) plans to hold its bubble-style beach volleyball tournament this November, with the possibility of accepting guest teams outside the league.

PSL president Ian Laurel said the league plans to stage it in Subic, which was also the venue for the beach volleyball competition in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.

“Subic is pandemic-ready,” Laurel said in the latest Sports Page episode. “When it comes to standards, we know it is world-class. The good relationship the PSL has with Subic, I think, helped in this positive development.”

Two hotels will accommodate the estimated 150 people inside the PSL bubble. Laurel said one will be a quarantine hotel where people will await their test results, while the second will be the hotel where players and staff who got clearance will stay.

Both are walking distance to the practice venue and competition venue.

Laurel said they are looking at the dates of November 27 to 29 for the three-day tournament, with time for ingress and egress.

“We are trying to give our teams and players at least one month to practice and for more conditioning,” he added.

The 8 teams can field up to two squads, Laurel said, as the league also considers the possibility of opening up slots for guest teams.

“We have started talks with other beach volleyball teams,” he said.

Laurel said he would also talk to the national team pair of Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons if they woud consider joining.

Rica Rivera of the Petron Blaze Spikers said she’s excited over the possibility of playing against Rondina and Pons.

Yung mga queen of beach volleyball, parang wow kailangan ko maging prepared,” said Rivera, who might pair up with Ces Molina for the tournament.

(They’re the queens of beach volleyball, so it’s like wow, I have to be prepared.)

Jovelyn Gonzaga, who spet her time during quarantine helping the Philippine Army transport stranded residents go back to their homes, said she welcomes the return of the competition.

‘Di tayo mabobokya sa taong ito (We won’t end up empty-handed this year),” she said.

Laurel said learning from how the PBA conducted its bubble helped in getting the approval from the government’s Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

“PBA was very, very helpful to us. The things that they’ve done to get the approval, the way they are doing it, I think it paved the way for the PSL appeal to be accommodated by the IATF,” he said.

“At least we have a representation for the female gender in sports going into the new normal.”

The PSL Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup will also serve as a takeoff point for next year’s tournament.

“We look at it like we won’t end up with zero in 2020 and as a very, very strong jump-off for next year’s PSL season,” Laurel said. –

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