CIGNAL coach Sammy Acaylar was the first to benefit in the video challenge system finally implemented by the Philippine Super Liga Thursday in the Grand Prix game between Foton and the HD Spikers Thursday at The Arena in San Juan.
Acaylar used the innovation to dispute a block-touch call in the early stretch of the first set.
After a thorough review by the video challenge crew led by Italian Emmanuel Celle of the Data Volley Project, officials reversed the decision and awarded a point to the HD Spikers.
“Nanonood ako ng mga world-caliber volleyball and nakita ko ang video challenge and naisip ko kailan kaya kami (sa Philippines) magiging ganyan,” shared the veteran mentor.
“’Di naman sa dine-degrade ko ang mga referees natin pero tao lang din sila, nagkakamali,” he added. “Ang mga referees naman ‘di nila sinasadya nagkakamali sila kaya malaking tulong itong video challenge.”
The PSL officially implemented the video challenge system for the first time, a state-of-the-art technology used to review a call by the referees and a first in the country.
League president Tats Suzara was pleased to say the county was the first club league in Asia to use the system, estimated to cost around P3 million.
“Although neighboring Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia also have the same technology, the Philippines is the first for a local club league to use the video challenge,” said Suzara, who is also a development commission officer at the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB).
“Two and a half years pa lang tayo pero sumusunod tayo sa FIVB,” he added. “Kung mabilis sila (sa pag-innovate) sumusunod tayo sa kanila.”
There are a total of 26 cameras installed around the playing court and meticulously arranged for the duration of the two-game, six-hour match.