Volleyball: PVL planning virtual fans' day, closed-door games

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 18 2020 11:09 AM

MANILA, Philippines -- Organizers remain hopeful that the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) can proceed with its fourth season later this year, although games must take place behind closed doors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This, according to Sports Vision president Ricky Palou, who said on the "Crossover" podcast recently that many of their plans for the league's new season were derailed by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

"We were supposed to start on May 30, but because of all this, we had to postpone. Now, we're looking at hopefully September, but the way things are going, it doesn't look like September will be feasible also," Palou admitted.

"Hopefully, we'd be able to do something before the end of the year," he added.

Much like the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), the PVL is also taking its first steps towards a return to action. The PBA recently wrote to the Inter-Agency Task Force and the Department of Health, submitting a set of protocols for their teams to follow when they come back to practice.

The PVL is also planning a similar course of action, said Palou.

"I'm preparing something for all the teams to look at, review, and come back with hopefully some feedback," he said. "We'd get all of this together, we'll make a formal request."

He also advised all PVL teams to stay in shape in case they get the go-signal to play.

However, Palou warned that should they be able to hold a tournament, it will most likely be behind closed-doors.

"No audience," he said. "I don't know how the teams will react to that, how they will play with no audience watching."

"But I hope they'll be mature enough to play and give it their all. Because after all, we'll probably come out on television. So we're hoping that they'll play well," he added.

The next step would be to allow a few fans in, with physical distancing protocols strictly observed. Palou hopes that eventually, a full crowd will be allowed to watch games in the near future.

In the meantime, the PVL plans to stay in touch with their fans via an online meet-and-greet.

"We're thinking of something like a fans' day, a meet and greet fans' day," Palou said. "We're looking at scheduling this something in August. The fans' meet will be, of course, online."

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).