SHAKEY’S V-League officials said there is no truth to La Salle coach Ramil De Jesus’ claim that the Lady Spikers are banned from the volleyball league, insisting the team was invited to take part not only in the coming Collegiate Conference but in previous tournaments as well.
“For the record, there is no ban on any team,” said Ricky Palou, president of organizing Sports Vision, during Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum as he belied a claim made by De Jesus to Spin.ph on Sunday.
“Our league is an invitational tournament. We sent out invitations. Also for the record, every year, we have invited De La Salle to participate,” Palou continued.
“Unfortunately, after their participation four years ago, they decided not to participate. But every year, we invited school teams and these include De La Salle University.”
Palou said the V-League contacted La Salle team manager Raffy Villavicencio about the Lady Spikers’ invitation and insisted Villavicencio said yes, prompting organizers to include the Lady Spikers in the initial list on teams taking part in the Collegiate Conference.
“He said that they will participate,” said Palou. “We formally invited them.”
De Jesus claimed La Salle was never invited to compete in the Collegiate Conference and cited newspaper reports quoting V-League officials as saying that they had banned the Lady Spikers for their last-minute withdrawal from one conference years ago.
De Jesus added La Salle team managers are asking for a public apology for those statements.
V-League commissioner Tony Boy Liao seconded Palou’s statements, saying the De La Salle men’s squad's forthcoming participation in the V-League-organized Spikers’ Turf is proof that an invitation was sent to the Taft-based school.
“It is parang common sense. ‘Yung babae hindi kasama, bakit ang lalake kasama kung sinasabi niyang hindi naimbitahan? Kasi ‘yung lalake kasama sa Spikers’ Turf. Bakit sinasabi niya hindi naimbitahan?”
Palou said a public apology is out of the question since La Salle is not banned from the league in the first place.
“We never said La Salle is banned. Why should we apologize? I don’t understand why he is making a big issue out of this. This is an invitational. If they want to participate, fine,” said Palou.
Despite De Jesus’ claim, Palou said V-League will continue to invite De La Salle.
“What we do is we invite the top four to six teams depending on how strong they are. So long as La Salle is a top contender in the UAAP, they will be invited,” said Palou.