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Suzara calling for unity in volleyball in 2016

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After just three years of existence, the Philippine Superliga has expanded the realm of possibilities for local volleyball. Current PSL President, Ramon “Tats” Suzara had innovation in mind when he first started the league.

Suzara upheld his promise – the PSL was the first league to really reach out to provinces through regular out-of-town games. The league also established a draft system, provided regular live TV coverage for all games, brought over some of the best international talent through its annual Grand Prix conference, and was the first club league in Southeast Asia to use a video challenge system which was only recently used regularly in the FIVB.

Aside from all these changes, Suzara hopes that the new year will be a year of unity for Philippine volleyball.

“I have spoken to LVPI (Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas Inc.) many times to impose a strong direction for volleyball. For V-League and PSL, I think we should have a clear definition. Kasi ang PSL, definitely ito na ang official club league in the country since three years ago because we have been registered (with the FIVB) – all the teams, all the players have been registered. I have tried many times to hold a unification meeting with V-League. Pero wala talaga. So I leave that to the LVPI. The LVPI knows what to do as the national federation in charge so we have to follow. PSL follows the calendar of the LVPI and FIVB para walang conflict. I’m hoping, as my New Year’s wish, that my friends from the V-League will try to understand that we should cooperate and unite to have a very good direction for Philippine volleyball because this is for the players – for their careers. I don’t want them to be confused with where to go, now they know where to go,” said Suzara.

Suzara believes that there should be a strong structure with the major LVPI stakeholders. He wants college athletes that come out of the UAAP and NCAA to be molded in the V-League and turn pro in the PSL. Suzara also wants to directly affect the player’s participation in the National Team. “One of the foremost objectives of the PSL is to support the National Team. We should not be selfish. Kung kailangan ng bayan ng player, ibigay natin.”

When asked about the possibility of superstar Alyssa Valdez playing in the PSL, Suzara expressed that she would have to go through the draft like all other players.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Suzara calling for unity in volleyball in 2016

Valdez is set to play her final UAAP Season and will be eligible to be drafted into the PSL. However, the two-time UAAP MVP and the PLDT Home Ultera Ultra Fast Hitters’ poster girl in the V-League has been quoted saying that she is still unsure of her post UAAP plans.  

“Who doesn’t want Alyssa Valdez on their team? But, there are a set of rules, and the drafting is an important event in May because we start the All-Filipino Conference in June. Alyssa Valdez is most welcome in the PSL. She will definitely be the first draft pick (which Meralco owns). Ang draft picks hindi pwedeng mamili ng team na pupuntahan nila. If they refuse to go the team that drafted them, they will have to sit out for a year which has been an agreement with all team owners,” Suzara clarified.

“We leave that to her or her management’s decision (if she joins the draft). The PSL will move on regardless,” he continued. ”We’ll continue to innovate, to elevate the level of competition. We’ll just continue what we do.”

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Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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