The long-winded cry for unity in the Philippine volleyball landscape will not fall on deaf ears.
Ranking officials of the Premier Volleyball League and the Philippine Superliga have expressed full commitment to the unification of the country’s local scene.
“We are working towards a common goal of hopefully unifying volleyball and merge the PSL and PVL,” disclosed PSL president Dr. Ian Laurel.
In fact, both parties have been in discussions of a potential united tournament since late 2019, although it has yet to gain much traction with concerns still unsettled and the coronavirus pandemic continuing to threaten lives and hamper activities.
“We have been on a series of meetings since December last year, to January and February. Unfortunately, we were halted by the COVID-19 virus,” Laurel bared.
He also mentioned, “I cannot say at what percent we are towards our goal kasi there are still things that we need to settle like the officiating, the tournament format, among others. So I cannot say na talagang on the go na.
“But I can say that both parties are one-hundred percent committed to working together.”
Among the concerns subject to deliberation, the officials made it known that they are leaning towards an All-Filipino format, considering the availability of foreign players in light of the global health crisis.
“It will be an All-Filipino tournament.
“All-Filipino tayo kasi it’s difficult na may import kasi we’re not yet sure if the countries where the imports will be from have their own travel restrictions or travel ban,” Laurel said.
In line with the tournament scheme, the participants for the merger still remain up in the air.
All eight clubs teams of the PSL which took part in the now-truncated Grand Prix — namely F2 Logistics, Petron, Chery Tiggo, Sta. Lucia, Generika-Ayala, Marinerang Pilipina, and Cignal — are willing to participate, as per Laurel.
To that end, PVL president Ricky Palou offered a proposition.
“PSL wants all the teams involved. I met with the team owners before all of this noong January. The feeling of the team owners ng PVL ay eight teams ay masyadong mahaba ang tournament,” Palou stressed. “They are looking at a shorter tournament.
“Maybe ‘yung top four teams lang ng PVL and PSL and we will not play each other anymore kasi nga may ranking na rin naman sa mga liga para it will be a shorter tournament. Around two weeks siguro.”
While there’s still a cloud of uncertainty looming over the plan, the officials assured they will buckle down to business once everything is back to normal.
“As soon as the government will announce that it is safe to hold sporting events again such as the PBA, or volleyball tournaments such as ours, we will get back to work and get back where we left off in our talks,” Laurel said.