MANILA -- The Premier Volleyball League (PVL) is bringing back the guest imports as it kicks off the 2022 Reinforced Conference on Saturday.
This will be the first time for the PVL teams to parade foreign reinforcements since the pandemic broke out.
The games will be first staged at the Sta. Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna.
“We’re very happy na pwede nang magkaroon ng guest players ang ating mga club teams. Kasi nawala ito for more than two years because of the pandemic. Siguradong magiging more competitive ang teams, ang spectators mas gaganahang manood,” PVL president Ricky Palou said at a press conference Wednesday.
Fans will be allowed to watch the games live although only those who have been vaccinated will be allowed to enter the contest venues.
Creamline will have Turkish spiker Yeliz Basa, as guest player while sister team Choco Mucho will bring in Uzbek-Azerbaijani hitter Odina Aliyeva.
Chery Tiggo has signed Jelena Cvijovic of Romania, while Akari tapped 3-time Olympian Prisilla Rivera of the Dominican Republic.
American import Lindsay Stalzer is returning for F2 Logistics, Russian outside hitter Elena Savkina-Samoilenko will beef up PLDT, and another American Tai Bierria will be Cignal’s guest player.
Petro Gazz signed American outside hitter Lindsey Vander Weide, while it will be Canadian spiker Laura “Loudy” Condotta for United Auctioneers-Army.
Palou added that they plan to introduce the video challenge this conference, even as they await the arrival of the necessary equipment.
The games will be rotated among four venues: Philsports Arena, Ynares Center in Antipolo, Sta. Rosa Sports Complex, and MOA Arena.
Palou said they have decided to allow clubs to bring in only one import as they recover from the economic effects of the pandemic.
“Dati ang pinapakuha namin sa mga clubs two imports. E ngayon nakiusap ang mga team because they are recoving from the pandemic kung pwedeng one import lang muna,” said Palou.
“Despite this mas tataas pa rin ang level ng play. Alam mo naman ‘pag may import mas tumataas ang level of play; pati locals ginaganahan sila. It will be good for the league.”
“Hopefully sa next reinforced conference babalik na kami sa two guest players na.”