Philippine volleyball

Professionalized PVL to kick off in a bubble

Beatrice Go
Professionalized PVL to kick off in a bubble

STEP BY STEP. The PVL is slowly making its return to Philippine sports.

Photo by Michael Gatpandan/Rappler

Sports Vision, organizer of the Premier Volleyball League, is eyeing two possible venues in Laguna

The recently professionalized Premier Volleyball League (PVL) is looking to mark its volleyball return in a bubble setup in February or March 2021.

As the PBA and Philippines Football League (PFL) were able to hold their respective competitions in sports bubbles, the PVL will follow suit, targeting the setup at the National University (NU) INSPIRE Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna, or TRACE colleges in Los Baños, Laguna.

According to Sports Vision president Ricky Palou, he is looking to finalize the deal with the venue that would accept their budget of P20 million.

“We’re looking at two possible venues – one is the INSPIRE Sports Academy of NU and the other one is TRACE Colleges, both in Laguna,” Palou said during the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) forum on Tuesday, November 17.

“Of course nothing’s final yet, we’re still negotiating with them and for this, we’ll be looking for a sponsor to help us with this bubble tournament,” he added.

The Chooks-to-Go 3×3 President’s Cup was successfully staged in the INSPIRE Sports Academy, which saw Zamboanga City take home the P1- million Grand Finals prize last October 30.

The tournament organizer also mentioned convenience of the billeting as the main factor for narrowing down to these two options. Both the PBA and PFL needed to shuttle teams from the hotels to the competition areas, and vice versa.

“They have rooms for the players, there’s food, a weights and conditioning gym, players won’t have to travel in and out of the venue,” added Palou. “With TRACE and INSPIRE, people won’t be going in and out of the venue.”

Palou added that the PVL is focusing on staging its first conference in the bubble setup for 6 weeks before making adjustments for the succeeding conferences.

“We still haven’t decided if we’ll be playing every day of the week or 3 times a week but the cost will get higher [with the latter option],” said Palou.

The PVL has already submitted a proposal to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to allow its 7 teams – Creamline, Petro Gazz, Choco Mucho, Perlas Spikers, Motolite, Chef’s Classics, and Balipure – to start training for the 2021 season.

The league is optimistic that the IATF will give the green light for training by the end of November 2020.

“We’re working that out with the GAB. Hopefully by the end of the month, we’ll be able to get the teams to work out together,” said Palou.

“Initially, they’ll probably have groups of 4 or 6, but eventually, we feel that the IATF, through the GAB, will allow the teams to start working together. We’re hoping for that and we feel that this is necessary for the teams to prepare for our competition,” he added.

The Philippine Army and Air Force teams, though, are still undergoing the process of securing a permit from the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) to participate in the professional league.

Aside from the special guest license provided by the GAB, Palou revealed the possibility of a merger between the two teams.

The PVL is still accepting new teams in order to push the total number of participating squads to 10 or 12. Palou said that the teams will be evaluated by the GAB and will need to commit to playing in both the Open and Reinforced conferences.

The league is led by the 3-time titlists Creamline Cool Smashers  who are bannered by Philippine volleyball stars Alyssa Valdez, Jia Morado, and Jema Galanza. –

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Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine 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.