MANILA, Philippines -- Officials of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) are working to get the Spikers' Turf going again after a year of inactivity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
PVL president Ricky Palou confirmed Tuesday that they plan to hold discussions with prospective team owners this week to discuss the future of the Spikers' Turf, which has served as a platform for men's volleyball players since 2015.
"We're trying to sit down with all these prospective teams. Hopefully we'll be able to do this this week, because we'd like to get the Spikers' Turf conference going also. We'd like to start it, we'd like to get it to start moving," Palou said during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.
One possible hindrance is that most of the teams in the Spikers' Turf are hesitant to turn professional, a move made by the PVL in November 2020 to pave the way for its return to action during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Per the terms of the joint administrative order signed by the Department of Health, the Philippine Sports Commission, and the Games and Amusements Board, only professional leagues can be held while the global health crisis is still ongoing.
"We've been talking to some of the teams, and so far parang tatlo lang ang gustong maging professional teams," Palou revealed.
"Everybody's worried about, they might be tied down to long-term contracts, and their cost will go up. At this point in time, they're still not ready to incur that much expenses," he explained.
Palou intends to sit down with potential team owners to "explain to them how this works."
"Hopefully, more of them will want to join," he added.
Aside from three teams who are willing to turn pro, Spikers' Turf also has three military teams who can join by getting a special license from GAB.
The Spikers' Turf last held a season in 2019, with powerhouse Cignal HD emerging as champions in both the Reinforced and Open Conferences.
The national team also competed as a guest team in 2019, which was crucial in their preparation for the Southeast Asian Games. The men's team wound up winning a silver in the 2019 SEA Games at home, outlasting defending champion Thailand in a marathon semifinal before falling to Indonesia in the gold medal game.
Palou believes that restarting the Spikers' Turf will be crucial to build on the gains that the men's team made during the SEA Games.
"We'd like to keep this momentum going for them. If they did well in the Southeast Asian Games, they should be able to improve and hopefully be a major contender in the men's division in the Southeast Asian Games," he said.
"So we're really trying to work out something to get the Spikers' Turf going."
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