By Kristel Satumbaga
The Premier Volleyball League is looking at holding its Open Conference without an audience once the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) allows team sports.
Creamline players celebrate during the PVL Open Conference at The Arena in San Juan. (Sports Vision Images / File photo)
The plan is part of the league’s safety measures amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“If we’ll be able to hold our Open Conference this year, it will probably be closed-door, no audience,” said organizer Sports Vision president Ricky Palou in Tuesday night’s podcast.
Palou is confident participating teams and players will give it their all even without the fans cheering them on.
“I’m not sure how the players and teams will react and how they will play even without an audience. But I hope they’ll be mature enough to play and give it their best,” he said.
Philippine volleyball superstar Alyssa Valdez of Creamline, 2nd left, and Banko Perlas’ Dzi Gervacio, 2nd right, grace the PSA Forum with Premiere Volleyball League president Ricky Palou, left, and tournament director Tonyboy Liao. (MB File photo)
Palou, however, assured everyone they will slowly bring the fans in if the government relaxes its quarantine protocols.
“Eventually, we’ll slowly bring in the fans, maybe one seat apart for social distancing purposes,” he said.
The PVL had earlier announced it is eyeing September as its opening date. But it may be forced to move it late this year because National Capital Region and Metro Manila remain under General Community Quarantine.
“We’re hopeful we’ll be able to hold something before the year ends, and we’re asking all our teams and players to stay in shape,” said Palou.
The PVL has already drawn participation from nine teams including defending champion Creamline, which will be bringing back the same core of their deep team headed by Alyssa Valdez.
The other squads seeing action are PetroGazz, BanKo-Perlas, Choco Mucho, Motolite, Bali Pure, Chef’s Classic, Army and Air Force.
Palou also said they are looking to follow the move of the PBA in requesting the IATF to resume team training and eventually holding the tournament.
“We’re planning to do that. I’m preparing something for all the teams to look at, review and hopefully they’ll come back with some good feedback. We’ll prepare all of this together then we’ll make the formal request,” he said.