PVL eyeing new date for Open Conference

Organizers of the Premier Volleyball League are looking at the possibility of pushing the Open Conference to a later date to give teams more time to train.

Sports Vision President Ricky Palou bared this Tuesday, March 16, after some teams made requests to move the tournament date to late May.

The tournament is tentatively set May 8 at the Inspire Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna under a bubble-type setup.

“We’re studying it, since we all know that players have not been in competitions and team training for over a year now,” Palou said during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Online Forum.

Teams have only started training this month following the approval of venues from the Games and Amusements Board and local government units concerned, and Palou knew physical conditioning is also important to players.

“It’s a good suggestion. The players may be overexcited and hurt themselves if they have a short time to train. We’re talking to TV5 about this,” Palou said, referring to their broadcast partner.

A record of 12 teams including five transferees from the Philippine Superliga are seeing action in the Open Conference, which will serve as the first indoor volleyball tournament since pandemic halted competitions last year.

Participating teams are Creamline, BanKo Perlas, Petro Gazz, Choco Mucho, BaliPure, UAC Energy Holdings, Army, F2 Logistics, PLDT Home Fibr, Cignal HD, Chery Tiggo and Sta. Lucia.

Palou said they eye to hold the tournament within a two-month timeframe without fans and would rely on broadcast partner TV5 to stream the games to different platforms to still make it accessible to the audiences.

He also said players getting vaccines is not a requirement but he still encourages teams to do so once it is available.

“It would remove a lot of complications, plus it’s also for the safety of the athletes,” Palou said.