Volleyball: As teams seek more time to prepare, PVL opening likely pushed back

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 16 2021 04:00 PM

Volleyball: As teams seek more time to prepare, PVL opening likely pushed back 1
PVL President Ricky Palou. Handout photo

MANILA, Philippines -- There is a "big possibility" that the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) will push back the opening date of its first professional season, amid clamor from teams for more preparation time.

The PVL has tentatively scheduled its opening for May 8 at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna, where the 12 teams will be housed in a "bubble" similar to what was done by other professional leagues like the PBA and Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3.

However, PVL president Ricky Palou admitted Tuesday that they are seriously considering moving the opening date to later in May.

"There are some teams that are asking us if we can move it a little later," Palou said in an appearance on the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum. "We're studying this also, because they're saying that it's important that the teams get used to playing together again, getting used to playing, actually playing games."

"Because as everybody knows they haven't been allowed to play in any competitive type of games for over a year now. They're afraid that players may be overexcited, that they'll hurt themselves," he added.

The PVL did not hold any competition in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They turned professional in November of that year, and has since added five more teams from the Philippine Superliga -- Cignal HD, PLDT, Sta. Lucia, Chery Tiggo, and F2 Logistics.

Twelve teams will feature in their first season as a professional league. Several squads have already received permission from the Games and Amusements Board to start training, while the practice venues of other teams are set to be inspected.

Given the short lead-up to the season, Palou said they are considering the teams' request to reset their start date.

"That's a big possibility (that the opening will be pushed back)," he said. "What we're now studying is whether we can hold it towards the end of May, which will give them a little bit over two months at this point in time for them to get ready for the tournament."

"If we move it to the end of May, maybe that will be sufficient for them to get ready," he added. 

The PVL is still studying possible formats for its tournament, including a single round-robin regular season followed by the playoffs. From their initial discussions, the league is targeting 57 playing days spread over two months. 

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