PHILIPPINE Volleyball League chief Ricky Palou is open to the idea of resetting the opening of the league towards the end of May, from its original date of May 8, to accommodate the request of some teams for more time for actual training to get back into shape and avoid injuries.
“This is a big possibility because some teams are asking us if we can do it (the league opening) a little later because the players haven’t played together for over a year. They might get overexcited and hurt themselves,” Palou said in the Philippine Sportswriters Association online forum yesterday.
“We’ve studied this also because they are saying it’s important for the players to get used to playing actual games together again. Lahat ng ito pinag-aaralan namin,” he added in the public sports program supported by the Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corp., San Miguel, Milo, Smart, Braska Restaurant, Amelie Hotel and Go for Gold.
Palou said the Ronac Gym in Mandaluyong, the Arena in San Juan and Greenhills East gym are among the facilities approved by the Games and Amusements Board to be used for team workouts.
“What these teams are looking is a bubble-type training good for two months, which I believe is good enough for the teams to prepare,” he added, while revealing that Sta. Lucia has gained a headstart “because the team has been training at its gym in Cainta, Rizal which is under MGCQ.”
He also said that resetting the league’s start would be good since the teams would have to undergo pre-testing three to four days for COVID-19 before entering the competition bubble and another swab once they are inside.
With the exodus of some teams in the Philippine Super Liga, the PVL is now made up of 12 squad led by holdovers Creamline, Bali Pure, Perlas Spikers, Choco Mucho, Petro Gazz, Army plus Sta. Lucia United Auctioneers, F2 Logistics, Cherry Tigo, PLDT and Cignal.
Palou said the PVL is looking at its bubble competition within the confines of the Inspire Academy in Calamba, Laguna, whose management assured him the facility could accommodate 325 people who will be going inside.
“We’ve inspected the rooms and accommodations and they are decent enough although not as luxurious as what the PBA used for the Philippine Cup,” said Palou, adding the cost for medical needs would be P10 million while the operations would cost another million.
He stressed this is why the health and safety protocols imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force would be strictly enforced one the tournament gets going.