The Philippine Superliga will not turn professional anytime soon.
League chairman Popoy Juico said that the majority of the team owners remain firm in their stances of keeping its semi-professional status.
“Perhaps,” he said with regards to turning pro during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum, presented by San Miguel Corp., Go For Gold, MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), and powered by Smart, with Upstream Media as official webcast partner.
“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.”
Petron, F2 Logistics, Cignal, Sta. Lucia, Generika-Ayala, Chery Tiggo, PLDT, and Marinerang Pilipina compose the league’s board.
The Games and Amusements Board and the Philippine Sports Commission recently drew the line between pros and amateurs, stating that players who are compensated by companies should be classified as full-time players.
Moreover, this has been the course of action for leagues like PBA, Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3, and PFL to play inside bubbles.
For its 2021 season, Juico is hoping that the league can deliver on three indoor volleyball conferences and a beach volleyball tournament.
“The PSL board is meeting right now and without trying to preempt everyone, the plan is to have three regular conferences in addition to beach volleyball,” said Juico, who is running for first vice president in the upcoming POC elections.
“Although all of these things are still premise on the IATF approval both at the national and regional level. And of course, a premise on the cooperation of the local government units concerned, where we will have our competitions and practices.”
For Juico, a vaccine for the coronavirus will be the game-changer in all of this.
“So ‘pag lumabas ang vaccine na ‘yan end of this year, at kaya naman natin bilhin ‘yan, ewan ko lang… ‘Di naman siguro libo ‘yan, Pfizer ‘yan ang gumawa ng Viagra,” said Juico.
“A number of our teams are also saying without the vaccine, it will be very difficult to let their athletes play. Unang-una ‘yung mga magulang at saka ‘yung mga mahal sa buhay nung mga manlalaro, ‘yun din ang hinahanap.”