PVL waiting for NU's decision on Invitational Conference

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 07 2022 11:44 AM

The core of the Philippine women's volleyball team that will compete in the AVC Cup for Women is composed of National University players. UAAP Media
The core of the Philippine women's volleyball team that will compete in the AVC Cup for Women is composed of National University players. UAAP Media

MANILA, Philippines -- The Premier Volleyball League (PVL) is hopeful that National University will allow its players to suit up for the national team in the semifinals of the Invitational Conference.

The Lady Bulldogs, who ruled the UAAP Season 84 women's volleyball tournament in dominant fashion, make up the bulk of the Philippine national team that was tipped to compete in the Invitational. 

The national team replaced Kobe Shinwa Women's University in the semis, after the Japanese squad was forced to withdraw over health and safety protocols. 

However, PVL President Ricky Palou confirmed to ABS-CBN News on Sunday that the Lady Bulldogs have not been given the go-signal by their management to compete in the Invitational Conference.

"[PNVF] President [Tats] Suzara and the coach wants them to play in our PVL Invitational, pero ayaw ng manager ng NU, kasi baka raw masaktan 'yung players," Palou said in a phone interview.

The national team is supposed to open their PVL account on Monday against reigning Open Conference champion Creamline at the Mall of Asia Arena.

"They [NU] will give us a final decision by lunchtime, whether they will play or not," Palou added.

The Invitational Conference would have served as the national team's preparation for the AVC Cup for Women, which starts on August 21 at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

Of the 14 players in the line-up, 12 are from National U: Ivy Lacsina, Mhicaela Belen, Shaira Jardio, Evangeline Alinsug, Cess Robles, Sheena Toring, Jen Nierva, Nicole Mata, Alyssa Solomon, Camilla Lamina, Kamille Cal and Joyme Cagande.

Completing the team are Jelai Gajero of California Precision Sports and Trisha Genesis of Akari.

If the NU players are not allowed, Palou says the semifinals of the Invitational Conference will still push through, albeit with just five teams. PLDT, Creamline, Cignal HD, and Army Black Mamba qualified to the semis, while KingWhale Taipei joined as a guest team.

"I think at this point in time, we'll just have to do with five teams kung umayaw na ang national team. We'll see. We're waiting to see what the national team will say, then after that, we'll decide," said Palou.