MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATED) The organizers of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) on Tuesday hit back at the Philippine Superliga (PSL) for its suspension of Grethcel Soltones.
The PSL announced Monday that Soltones had violated its "one league policy" after she played in the PVL All-Star Game despite being committed to play for Iriga City in the PSL Grand Prix.
This merited a fine of P50,000 and a one-year suspension for Soltones, a three-time NCAA MVP with San Sebastian College and a PVL champion with Bali Pure.
"The suspension and hefty fine on (Gretchel) Soltones by the PSL officials is absurd and totally uncalled for,” Sports Vision president Ricky Palou said in a statement. “In the first place, Soltones has no contract with the PSL. She is only on loan to the team of Iriga as her mother league is the PVL.”
Palou also pointed out that the PVL All Star Game is one-day charity event held for the benefit of Hero Foundation, a foundation established to raise scholarship funds for children of soldiers who gave up their lives in the line of duty.
“I don't see anything wrong with what Gretchel did. In fact, she should be commended for helping in this fund-raising event by her participation,” said Palou.
He added that the All-Star event is an annual undertaking staged to benefit a charitable institution or victims of calamities.
The PVL All Star has been scheduled at the start of the 2017 PVL Season even before Soltones has been borrowed by Iriga to play for them.
Interestingly, Soltones had already played for Foton in the PSL Invitational Conference back in March, then returned to the PVL to suit up for Bali Pure. In this instance, she was not penalized by the PSL.
Meanwhile, PSL team owners on Tuesday unanimously voted to deny Team Iriga’s appeal to reconsider the ban and fine on Soltones.
In an emergency meeting at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, PSL owners voted 7-0 to uphold the league’s decision to ban and fine Soltones, who should have been under contract with Team Iriga for one year.
Team Iriga, however, does not have a contract yet with Soltones, to the dismay of league officials who have imposed a rule on all teams to sign their players to a minimum of one-year contract on a one-league policy, meaning players could not play outside of the PSL while they are under contract with their respective teams.
Team Iriga could not vote during the deliberation.
Guest team Victoria Sports-University of Santo Tomas also could not vote.
Soltones will be required to pay the fine under league rules.
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