PSL procuring vaccines for players: Juico

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 18 2021 11:37 AM

A nurse prepares a dose of the Sinovac's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, after Brazil health regulator Anvisa approved its emergency use at Hospital das Clinicas in Sao Paulo, Brazil January 17, 2021. Amanda Perobelli, Reuters

MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine Superliga (PSL) has partnered with the Go Negosyo program in order to acquire vaccines for its teams, league chairman Philip Ella Juico revealed.

During an appearance on "Power and Play" last Saturday, Juico said they have made an order for 1000 vaccines, through the Go Negosyo program of Joey Concepcion, the president of RFM Corp. and also the presidential adviser for entrepreneurship.

"Our request is being processed," said Juico. "There are batches of vaccines and we are there in one of the batches."

"Probably, if things go as planned, maybe we should have them by May or June," he added.

But the league already intends to open its 2021 season in February with a beach volleyball tournament, even if the players are not yet vaccinated. Juico says that while the vaccine is not yet available, the league will "make do" by holding the Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup in a bubble in Subic. 

The PSL met with local officials last week to discuss the details of the event, which was originally scheduled for November but postponed due to the typhoons that hit the country last year.

"Definitely, no spectators allowed," said Juico. "The SBMA (Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority) has already prepared for a no-spectator type of arrangement and that has been the approval of the Board of Directors of the SBMA."

The subsequent conferences, including the All-Filipino Cup, remain up in the air though Juico believes they will also take place in a bubble.

The PSL was forced to cancel its Grand Prix in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Juico says that ultimately, their plans -- including the vaccination of players -- will depend on government regulations and the COVID-19 situation in the country, particularly in the area where they plan to hold their tournaments.

"All these plans are dicey," he admitted. "A lot depends on the environment, on how the numbers change in the locality, the infections and all of that, especially with this variant."

Watch more in iWantTFC