MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) intends to call up collegiate plays for the 2022 Asian Women's Volleyball Cup, which the country will be hosting in August.
Tony Boy Liao, the chairman of the PNVF's national teams commission, said Tuesday that the professional players who represented the country in the 31st Southeast Asian Games will be unavailable for the event, as the Premier Volleyball League will be ongoing at the time.
"The PNVF Board has decided for the upcoming AVC Cup, which will happen on August 21, we will be choosing players from the collegiate level, because of the problem with the training of the national team," Liao said during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.
The PVL will open its Invitational Conference on July 9, and the competition is expected to run until the first week of September. The league does intend to take a break during the 2022 AVC Cup for Women, but there will be no opportunity for the PVL players to train with the national team while they are competing in the Invitational.
This leaves the door open for collegiate players, some of whom have already seen action for the national team during last year's Asian Women's Club Volleyball Championship in Thailand.
"Tapos na 'yung UAAP, so I think 'yung players from the collegiate will have more time to train with the national team," said Liao. "The coaching staff has already named 22 players to be invited from the different schools."
"We are just waiting for the reply of the universities of those who were invited, if they will be released," he added.
Expected to receive call-ups to the national team is the core of the National University Lady Bulldogs, who swept the UAAP Season 84 women's volleyball tournament. Among the NU team, Mhicaele Belen, Jennifer Nierva, and Ivy Lacsina already have experience with the senior team.
Also tipped to be called up are University of Santo Tomas ace Eya Laure, the leading scorer of Season 84, and Ateneo's Faith Nisperos who earned Second Best Open Spiker honors in the tournament.
Ricky Palou, the president of the PVL and a board member of the PNVF, said it is possible that the collegiate players will also be called up for the 2023 SEA Games that will be held in Cambodia in May.
"Target nila is AVC, but they're hoping na if maganda ang showing, tuloy-tuloy na gamitin [ang players] for the SEA Games," said Palou, who added the PNVF President Ramon "Tats" Suzara is looking to discuss the schedule with the collegiate leagues so that the players will be available.
The 2022 Asian Women's Volleyball Cup is scheduled for August 21-28, with ten teams tipped to participate.