SPORTS Vision president Ricky Palou asserted the Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference will push through with or without De La Salle.
Palou made the stand in light of La Salle athletic director Nongnong Calanog's comfirmation that the Lady Spikers won’t be joining the league’s second conference because of commitments to other tournaments.
But the head of the group responsible for the renaissance of women’s volleyball in the country said life goes on for the league even without a comeback for one of the most popular collegiate teams in the country today.
“We don’t say it has any impact,” Palou, who is also athletic director of Ateneo, told Spin.ph during the team meeting held Wednesday at Shakey’s Malate.
“The league is still going to proceed with the tournament, so tuluy-tuloy lang,” he added.
Palou initially announced La Salle, a three-time V-League champion, is part of the 12-team cast set to compete in the collegiate conference set to kick off on July 11.
But Calanog said the team’s commitment to play in the Philippine National Games and other provincial tournaments derailed the Lady Spikers’ long-awaited return to the league they once dominated.
“What can we do ‘di ba? Wala naman tayong magagawa,” Palou stressed. “Umayaw ang La Salle. Initially, the (Lady Spikers') team manager said sasali, tapos biglang hindi. So wala naman sapilitan ito, ‘di ba?”
Palou, however, said he has a feeling it was La Salle head coach Ramil de Jesus who was behind the decision not to let the Lady Spikers return to the pioneering league.
“Palagay ko, ang tingin namin, si Ramil. Ang coach ng La Salle ang umayaw,” he said.
Polytechnic University of the Philippines will take La Salle’s place as the 12 competing teams will be divided into two groups, Palou said.
“Twelve teams pa rin tayo ang kinukuha natin na kapalit ng La Salle is PUP,” said Palou.