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PSL insists on staying as ‘semi-pro’: ‘There’s not enough players yet’

The Philippine Superliga will remain under status quo when it resumes its operations next year.

League president Ian Laurel has shared that it will not go pro and instead remain as a “semi-professional” league.

According to the former UST Tiger Spiker, there are still not enough women’s volleyball players in the country to sustain a league that wants to have eight competitive teams.

“First of all, balikan natin ng kaunti. We had a strategic planning session back in 2018. All the teams were there. We discussed ‘yung possibility mawawala ‘yung collegiate players sa league,” Laurel shared to Athlete’s Tribune.

“At this point, we still need players from the armed forces and the schools.

“We are in a transition stage. If someone tells us that we have enough players that have already graduated, I can speak that we still have students in our teams. In the PVL, they also use college players. Mayroon pa ngang team na puro college players. There are not enough players yet,” he continued citing Chef’s Classic.

Laurel added that the only way a purely professional league happen is by a merger between the semi-pro PSL and the professional PVL.

Laurel is not taking into account, though, that in four years’ time, there will no longer be any UAAP student-athletes competing individually in commercial leagues.

Besides, the Philippine Sports Commission and the Games and Amusements Board have made it clear that there will only be two classifications for sporting leagues right now — amateurs, which is under the PSC, and pros under GAB.

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GAB also allows players from the armed forces and other collegiate leagues like the NCAA to obtain a special guest license to compete in pro leagues.

Laurel then rued that pro leagues received priority in resuming their operations during the ongoing pandemic.

“Sana pagbigyan muna na maka-arangkada. ‘Wag naman ‘yung bibigyan ng restrictions before you can go back to the previous operations,” he lamented.

“Nevertheless, nandiyan na ‘yan. Malaking bagay ‘yung LVPI sa amin,” he continued, as the federation is supporting the league.

Still, Laurel insists that turning pro was first discussed in the PSL back in 2018.

“Gusto ko lang paliwanag na ‘yung pag-turn ng pro, pinag-usapan na namin ‘yan nung 2018.”

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