Volleyball stakeholders hope to resume Unity Cup talks after pandemic

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 21 2020 03:51 PM | Updated as of Jun 21 2020 05:47 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- Officials of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) and the Philippine Superliga (PSL) hope to resume talks about a "Unity Cup" once restrictions brought about by the novel coronavirus pandemic are lifted.

The two leagues, which compete not just for the audience share but for the volleyball players themselves, were in the midst of talks about a possible all-Filipino tournament. However, the COVID-19 outbreak put a stop to those discussions. 

Ricky Palou, the president of Sports Vision which organizes the PVL, assured that both sides are ready to return to the table and again hold meetings about the "Unity Cup," just as soon as the lockdown is lifted. Metro Manila is under general community quarantine until the end of June.

"We're hoping. We're hoping this thing will work out," Palou said during a recent appearance on the "Crossover" podcast, presented by SMART. "Minor problems, and you know, we just have to work these things out."

Among the "minor problems" that have to be solved are the format of the tournament and the broadcast partner for the event.
Palou revealed that they have yet to agree on the format, as the PVL wants only the top teams of each league to compete, while the PSL wants all teams to take part.

"If we have that format, it's gonna kill one of our conferences, it's gonna kill our Open Conference, which we can't give up. So, that's one of the issues we're looking at," said Palou.

"The other issue is, who's going to cover? They have a different cover from us," he added.

The PSL is covered by TV5, while the PSL is under ABS-CBN Sports+Action.

"Those are issues that we haven't been able to settle," said Palou.

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted both leagues. The PSL was forced to abandon its Grand Prix, while the PVL has postponed the start of its fourth season. Palou is still hopeful that their league can hold a tournament this year, most likely behind closed doors.

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