Philippine Superliga is set to make a historic return when it rolls out its 2021 Gatorade-Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup starting this Friday at the sand courts of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.
A total of eight teams, including guest team Kennedy Solar Energy-PetroGazz, would see action in this first-ever volleyball tournament taking place during the pandemic era.
Kennedy Solar Energy-PetroGazz would be parading the tandem of Ariane Luna Alarcon and Christina Canares. Meanwhile, Sta. Lucia emerges as the team to beat with veteran beach volley campaigners Bang Pineda and Jonah Sabete, alongside DM Demontano and Jackie Estoquia.
F2 Logistics is also coming in strong with the presence of Jenny Mar Senares and Kyla Angela Gallego. On the other hand, Chery Tiggo will don the colors of United Auctioneers, Inc. with Ella Viray and Theresa Ramas as entries.
Rounding up the field in this tourney are Alexa Polidario and Erjan Magdato for Abanse Negrense 1; Jennifer Cosas and Gelimae Villanueva for Abanse Negrense 2; and Jonah San Pedro and Javen Sabas for Toby’s Sports.
The competition has Cherrylume, Ube Express and Subic bay Peninsular Hotel as sponsors; and Cocolife, UCPB Gen, Data Project and Genius Sports as technical partners.
PSL chairman Philip Ella Juico said the league’s staging of this historic tourney will not be possible without the support of the teams as well as the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF). Last October, it released Resolution 79 that allows the staging of beach volleyball tourney using a bubble setup in Subic, the site of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
“We want to thank the teams, especially our guest team PetroGazz, for helping us restart our beach volleyball tournament using a bubble setup,” said Juico, a former chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission and president of the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association.
“We also want to thank the IATF Region 3 and the SBMA for supporting us and making sure that our delegates, especially the athletes, will be safe from contracting coronavirus disease,” he continued.
“By becoming the first volleyball league to restart its season in the coronavirus era, we have a very big responsibility to our players, coaches, team owners, the media and other stakeholders. But rest assured that we will do everything to observe all the necessary health and safety protocols in accordance to the policies of the IATF, the SBMA, and the Department of Health.”