The sixth edition of the Philippine Superliga’s Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup will have just eight teams.
In Tuesday’s edition of the Philippine Sportswriters Association forum, league chairman Popoy Juico unveiled the teams set to compete in the tournament scheduled to take place from February 26 to 28 in Subic Tennis Center.
League mainstays Sta. Lucia and United Auctioneers Inc. will field two teams, while F2 Logistics will have one squad.
On the other hand, Abanse Negrense will have two teams representing them. Toby’s Sports will make its debut.
Juico said that they have already cleared the first of two hurdles to stage the tournament, which is clearance from the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority. The next step is to get permission from the Department of Health.
“The SBMA in the Region Three Task Force approved our protocols and the Region Three Task Force involves people from the DOH. And they have endorsed our protocols to the IATF secretariat and now the DOH is looking at coming up with the new guidelines,” said Juico in the online forum powered by SMART and Upstream Media and presented by San Miguel Corp., Go For Gold, MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
Juico added that the airing of PSL games on GMA 7 will begin with this tournament.
With the exodus of several PSL teams, and three more asking for a leave of absence – that led to their players signing with PVL squads – this year’s Challenge Cup will have the lowest number of teams competing in the yearly tournament.
Thirteen teams played in 2015 and 2016; 12 in 2017 and 2018; and 14 in 2019.
Defending champion Petron was one of the teams that disbanded due to pandemic-related reasons.
Last year, the amateur league attempted to resume play last October but ultimately decided not to due to inclement weather conditions.
There will be no men’s division for this season’s Challenge Cup as well.
The 24 players, including team and league officials, look to enter the bubble on Wednesday, February 24.