THE Premier Volleyball League (PVL) is looking to kick off its season either in the last week of June or early July to give its teams ample time to prepare after the lockdown in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
PVL president Ricky Palou said organizers and team owners agreed to move the Open Conference to a later date after the original May launch was abandoned following the government's decision to place NCR Plus under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) until April 30.
“We have agreed to move the PVL opening to either last week of June or first week of July,” said Palou after the Zoom meeting among league officials and team owners on Wednesday.
“We decided to do this to give ample time for the teams to train as a team as training of the teams was disrupted when the government agencies agreed to place NCR, Laguna, Rizal, Cavite and Bulacan under ECQ and now MECQ.”
The Open Conference is set to be played in a bubble format at Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna with a 12-team field that now includes Philippine Superliga transferees F2 Logistics, Sta. Lucia, Chery Tiggo, Cignal and PLDT.
Palou also bared that the league is also looking at other provinces like Subic as Plan B venue of the tournament in case Laguna is still under MECQ by then.
Practice sessions, done by PVL teams teams in small groups, had barely started before these were suspended by the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) after the government's ECQ declaration for the past two weeks.
Before the ECQ, six clubs were given clearance to start group training by GAB and local government units that had jurisdiction of the practice venues.
Ronac Center along Shaw Boulevard served as training venue for Choco Mucho, Perlas Spikers, and Creamline. Filoil Flying V Centre hosted the Petro Gazz training, SGS Gym for Unlimited Athletes’ Club, and San Sebastian College gym for PLDT.
Sta. Lucia was supposed to hold one-month bubble training approved by Cainta Mayor Keith Nieto, while Chery Tiggo is eyeing a locked-in practice in Subic but both were shelved owing to the surge of Covid-19 cases.
Palou said that most of the 12 teams are now considering to hold bubble trainings for their build-up in the Open Conference.
“As far as I know most of them, if not all, are making plans to do this. The teams will have to comply with the safety protocols mandated by GAB,” he said.