MANILA, Philippines -- Players from the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) are free to take part in the beach volleyball tournament that the Philippine Superliga (PSL) is planning for November, Sports Vision president Ricky Palou said.
Nonetheless, he also warned of the injury risks, as players have been inactive for most of the year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The PSL is planning to hold its Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup on November 26 to 29 in Subic, with teams from the PVL welcome to join. PSL commissioner Ian Laurel has already said that Bernadeth Pons and Sisi Rondina, who now play for Creamline, are invited to compete.
"If the teams want to join, let them join," Palou said in a phone interview with ABS-CBN News. "Hindi ko naman sila pinipigil eh. It's their prerogative to join."
The PVL does not hold beach volleyball competitions, although one of its top teams, Creamline, signed Pons and Rondina in February. The Rebisco-backed franchise has a handful of other beach volleyball players in their roster as well.
Palou said he has warned team owners that there is a risk of injury if players compete while not in tiptop shape. Unlike professional teams and collegiate teams, the PVL has yet to receive a go signal for their squads to resume training from the government.
Instead, volleyball teams continue to train virtually even as basketball and football leagues have returned to action.
"What I'm just telling them is ingatan niyo lang 'yung mga player niyo dahil they're not in shape, baka magka-injure-injure 'yan," said Palou. "At the end of the day, kayo ang kawawa. Dahil you're losing players to injuries."
"Just make sure if you join, 'yung mga teams niyo, mga players niyo nasa kundisyon, 'di ba. We don't want them to suffer any injuries," he added.
The PSL, which received the go-signal from the Inter-Agency Task Force to hold the beach volleyball tilt in a bubble earlier this month, has yet to announce a full list of participants for the short tournament.
PSL franchises can field in two teams each, however, and Laurel said they are in talks with squads from other leagues as well.
Already, players from the PSL are excited at the prospect of playing Rondina and Pons. The pair, who helped the Philippines win a breakthrough bronze in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games beach volleyball event, previously dominated the PSL's sand competition back when they played for Petron.
Current Petron libero Rica Rivera said she is looking forward to competing against Rondina, especially as they go way back. The two won a beach volleyball title for University of Santo Tomas in the UAAP in Season 77 -- the first of Rondina's four sand court championships.
"Nag-uusap kami ni Sisi na, 'what will you do, may leagues ba kayo?' I found out na baka sumali sila sa PSL. What, 'yung mga queens of beach volleyball, sasali?" she said in an appearance on "Sports Page." "Kailangan ko maging prepared talaga."