Superliga postpones volleyball fans day amid coronavirus threat



MANILA, Philippines – Heeding the government’s health advisory, the Philippine Superliga has postponed its Fans Day this Sunday, February 16, following the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

PSL president Philip Ella Juico said they are putting premium over the safety and welfare of the athletes, coaches and spectators and will reschedule the Fans Day, which was initially scheduled at the Activity Center of Robinson’s Place in Ermita, Manila.

All 8 competing teams were supposed to show up for an afternoon of games, fun and surprises as a kickoff activity for the brand new season of the PSL starting with the import-flavored Grand Prix on February 22.

Reigning champion Petron and other heavy contenders like Cignal, Chery Tiggo, F2 Logistics and Generika-Ayala were to give fans a preview of their respective rosters.

New-look Sta Lucia, PLDT Home Fibr and Marinerang Pilipina were also set to reveal new recruits.

But with the Department of Health advising to avoid coming up with large gatherings to prevent the spread of the deadly virus that already infected more than 60,000 people in China and 25 other countries, the league decided to put the welfare of its fans above all.

“The number of those infected by the novel coronavirus is spiking while governments of affected countries are trying to contain its spre,” Juico said.

“With this, it is only logical, and responsible, for us to cancel our Fans Day this Sunday to keep any untoward incident from happening. Although we want it to go on as planned, we have to put special premium on the safety and welfare of our athletes, coaches, officials, fans and other stakeholders.”

The PSL is not the only league that had to make some adjustments due to the outbreak of the deadly pulmonary disease.

The UAAP and NCAA halted their respective tourneys while the PBA deferred the opening of its 45th season from March 1 to March 8.

Gilas Pilipinas also won't see action soon as FIBA postponed the matches in the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 Qualifiers.

Juico’s federation, the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association, was also affected as the International Amateur Athletics Federation decided to scrap the staging of its World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing, China. (READ: Coronavirus chaos ravages Asia's sporting calendar)

“The world is adjusting just to curb the outbreak of this epidemic,” Juico said. “We are doing our best to make sure that everybody will be safe and protected.” –