MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Superliga (PSL) is all set to hold its first competition of 2021 with its Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup, which starts this Friday at the sand courts of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).
Eight teams, including guest squad Kennedy Solar Energy-PetroGazz, will compete in the tournament.
The event has been approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), through its Resolution 79 that allowed the staging of the beach volleyball tourney using a bubble setup in Subic.
The competition will be held in the same venue used in the 30th Southeast Asian Games in December 2019.
"We want to thank the teams, especially our guest team PetroGazz, for helping us restart our beach volleyball tournament using a bubble setup," said PSL chairman Philip Ella Juico.
"We also want to thank the IATF Region 3 and the SBMA for supporting us and making sure that our delegates, especially the athletes, will be safe from contracting coronavirus disease," he added.
Sta. Lucia has emerged as the team to beat in the eight-team field. The Lady Realtors are sending two teams -- the pair of Bang Pineda and Jonah Sabete, as well as DM Demontano and Jackie Estoquia.
F2 Logistics will be represented by Jenny Mar Senares and Kyla Angela Gallego. Chery Tiggo will don the colors of United Auctioneers, Inc. with Ella Viray and Theresa Ramas as entries.
Kennedy Solar Energy-PetroGazz will parade the tandem of Ariane Luna Alarcon and Christina Canares.
Rounding up the field are: Alexa Polidario and Erjan Magdato for Abanse Negrense 1, Jennifer Cosas and Gelimae Villanueva for Abanse Negrense 2, and Jonah San Pedro and Javen Sabas for Toby’s Sports.
Juico previously said during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum last week that the teams should be at the SBMA no later than February 24, as they will still undergo swab tests and quarantine.
Games will start at 8 a.m. on Friday, with the showdown between F2 Logistics and PetroGazz.
The quarterfinals are set for Saturday afternoon.
"By becoming the first volleyball league to restart its season in the coronavirus era, we have a very big responsibility to our players, coaches, team owners, the media and other stakeholders," said Juico.
"But rest assured that we will do everything to observe all the necessary health and safety protocols in accordance to the policies of the IATF, the SBMA and the Department of Health," he guaranteed.