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The Philippine SuperLiga (PSL) remains confident it will return to action before the year ends.
PSL president Ian Laurel said the chances are “50/50 for indoor volleyball and it’s almost 100% for beach volleyball.”
Hoping to salvage its 8th season after the cancellation of the Grand Prix back in March due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Laurel said beach volleyball is a more plausible tournament to hold as it poses a lower health risk since it can be staged outdoor and at a shorter time.
“Mas madali nga siguro. Unang-una, it’s open air. It’s natural ventilation unlike indoor that is artificial ventilation,” said Laurel in an interview with One Sports.
“Isa pa, dalawa lang kayong nasa court and mas maikli ‘yung exposure niyo. Sa indoor volleyball, it’s an hour and a half or two hours ‘yung game. Dito, 30 minutes, minsan mas mabilis pa, natatapos na.”
(Maybe it’s easier. First and foremost, it’s open air. It’s natural ventilation unlike indoor that is artificial ventilation. In addition, there are only two players in the court and their exposure is shorter. In indoor volleyball, the game runs about an hour and a half or two hours. Here, it takes 30 minutes, sometimes the game ends even faster.)
The league eyes a bubble setup for 4 to 6 days at the Subic International Hotel, which is right across the courts used for the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
“Subic has been very very helpful. They provided us with all their regulations and all their protocols. We just need to appeal this,” said Laurel.
“In fact, we told PSC (Philippine Sports Commission) of the plan, so far they have been very receptive. They just want us to formalize the appeal by next week.”
Some of the players, including Fiola Ceballos of the Cignal HD Spikers, Michelle Morente of F2 Logistics Cargo Movers, and Bang Pineda of Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors, have expressed their excitement for the upcoming tourney as they have been training and preparing for any possibilities.
“Naglu-look forward kaming lahat na magkaroon ng liga ngayon,” said Ceballos. “Pina-boost pa rin nila kami na dapat lang magpa-kondisyon everyday kasi babalik at babalik din ‘yon.”
(We are all looking forward to a league resumption – the coaches boost us to condition ourselves everyday because the league will eventually return,)
“Kami po nag-pupush sa sarili namin na mag work out everyday, na gawin lahat ng pinapagawa sa amin, na stay in shape pa rin po kami,” said Morente, who bannered the Cargo Movers in the 2019 PSL Beach Volleyball Challenge.
“Nire-ready lang po namin sarili namin, baka nga po anytime bumalik po kami.”
(We push ourselves to work out everyday, to do all the things the coaches wanted us to do, to always stay in shape – we always keep ourselves ready because we might come back anytime.)
“Pinagready po kami nila coach, since player po kami nung college ng beach volley,” said Pineda, the UAAP Season 76 beach volleyball MVP.
“It’s exciting but at the same time, kailangan mag-ingat,” she added.
(The coaches asked us to get ready since we were beach volley players in college. It’s exciting but at the same time, we need to be cautious.)
Laurel is optimistic that they will get the go signal to hold the event.
“We just want to have something going on for 2020, para naman maalala tayo (so there is something to remember) and it will serve as jump-off point for 2021,” he said. – Vince Roque/Rappler.com