THE Philippine Superliga hopes to be more active in the new year after tournaments were wiped out in 2020 and three teams filed for leave of absence.
After the Philippine women’s volleyball team failed to reach the podium in a four-team tournament in the 2019 SEA Games, volleyball faced a tougher challenge last year as the Coronavirus Pandemic wiped out tournament and even practice sessions.
The PSL managed to stage only a three-day event in January, ruled by a Japanese selection team. The Grand Prix lasted only three playdates before the pandemic forced to cancel the rest of the season in March.
Superliga had a glimmer of hope when the government gave the go signal for the 2020 Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup in a bubble setup in Subic. Unfortunately, several typhoons struck, forcing the postponement of the event planned in November.
“It was very challenging for everybody. Hindi lang sports but for everyone because of the pandemic and disasters,” PSL chairman Philip Ella Juico told spin.ph.
PSL hopes to recover from its inactivity by staging the Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup in Subic in February, an All-Filipino event in March, and the Grand Prix as season-ender plus a collegiate conference in July.
Juico said that they are already preparing the requirements for the All-Filipino Conference in March under a bubble format as part of their commitment to the women’s national team — 11 of the 14 Philippine women’s volleyball team members in the 2019 SEA Games were from the PSL.
“We will be very active because traditionally the PSL has been the source of 85-90 percent of the members of the national team,” Juico said. “In other words, we have a distinction to uphold if we want to maintain or sustain that for the country because we have arrived at a working formula.”
“Sa March, without vaccine, we will come up with a modified bubble. We’re working with the government. Kasi kailangan e. Remember, we are preparing for the SEA Games. Hindi pwedeng bakanteng bakante dahil kung hindi dadamputin tayo sa kangkungan nyan and sayang naman yung naipon na natin,” he added.
The PSL chairman also bared that they are in talks with five teams to fill in the void for Petron, Generika-Ayala and Marinerang Pilipina, who opted to take a pandemic-related leave of absence.
All Filipino champion F2 Logistics, Chery Tiggo, Sta. Lucia, Cignal, and PLDT are the current teams in the league.
Juico said that Petro Gazz from Premier Volleyball League will join their beach volleyball tournament as guest team and also the All-Filipino if there will be no conflict in the schedule.
The PVL says Petro Gazz remains committed to its league but the team officials of the Angels kept mum regarding their participation in both leagues.
PSL is also committed to participate in the AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship in April in Taipei and vowed to help the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc. in forming a national team for the 21st AVC Asian Senior Women’s Championship in August either in China or Thailand before the SEA Games in November.