Juico: Superliga not turning pro at the moment

Philippine Superliga chairman Philip Ella Juico bared Tuesday that the majority of the team owners don't want to turn professional at the moment in light of the recent situation in local sports amid the pandemic.

Juico said they are keeping their options open, but turning pro would depend on the situation.

“Perhaps (we could turn pro). It depends on the situation, although seven of our eight team owners recently said we should not go on that path. We should stay where we are,” Juico said in the virtual Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum.

The sentiments came after Games and Amusements Board (GAB) chairman Baham Mitra recently encouraged semi-professional leagues to turn pro in light with the joint resolution between GAB and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) drawing the line between professional and amateur leagues.

Mitra, however, reiterated they are not forcing any leagues to turn pro, but reminded that under the resolution, any athlete who is paid and does not play for flag and country qualifies as a professional.

Meanwhile, the league hopes to hold its regular three-conference season on top of the beach volleyball tournament next year pending the approval from the IATF.

The first conference is being eyed in February or March, the second conference in June or July, and the third conference around October.

Right now, they have been looking at playing areas which complies with IATF specifications.

The league is also open to holding a bubble concept type of tournament similar to the NBA and the PBA, but it would depend on the situation.

“The IATF will have to tell us (if we need to hold a bubble tournament or not), but it’s going to be very difficult. If it’s under a bubble concept, of course, it’s bigger expenses for everyone all around. This could mean we have to redo our plans and consult other people and team owners,” Juico said.

At the moment, the IATF only allows professional leagues in basketball, football, 3x3 basketball and boxing are being allowed to hold tournaments.