MANILA – Filipino boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao continues his campaign for grassroots development in sports with the launch of a new volleyball tournament in the country, Maharlika Pilipinas Volleyball Association (MPVA).
On Friday, Pacquiao personally announced the launch of MPVA, following the success of his basketball league MPBL.
The boxing champion and the MPVA organization see the league as a new platform for aspiring volleyball players – bringing the competitions closer to their homes.
“I’m hoping this inaugural season ng MPVA maging unforgettable moment katulad nong sa MPBL. Napakaraming natanggap naming suporta sa iba’t ibang sulok ng bansa. I’m hoping na suportahan niyo rin,” Pacquiao told reporters at Sheraton Hotel in Pasay City.
“I am hoping na maging institution league ito, talagang maging home ng mga Pilipino athletes natin sa volleyball para 'di na sila maglaro sa ibang bansa. Gusto ko i-develop 'yung grassroots. Marami talagang Pilipino na ang hihilig sa sports kaso lang kulang 'yung mga programa natin na ibinababa sa kanila,” he continued.
For its maiden season, MPVA will feature 10 women’s squads that will slug it out for eight weeks of competition.
The pioneering teams are Biñan, Laguna; Bacoor, Cavite; San Juan City; Caloocan City; Manila City; Marikina City; Nasipit, Agusan del Norte; Quezon City; Bulacan; and Batangas City.
Eligible athletes should be Filipino citizens and are at least 18 years old.
Teams must have at least three homegrown players and may include a maximum of three former professional players.
According to MPVA, they will use a single round-robin format for the elimination, while the playoffs will be a best-of-three series.
Pacquiao said they will incorporate the home-and-away format of MPBL in volleyball, making a venue as a primary requirement for interested LGUs.
“Before we accept the teams, 'yung mga franchise, mayroon kaming requirements sa venue, kung papasa sa 'min o hindi. Kailangan may gym, may latagan ng Taraflex para magkakaroon ng games sa kanila,” the boxer said.
The games will air on MPVA’s social media platforms and on Plus Network.