Volleyball community to benefit from unified tournament
Mark Escarlote on Jun 18, 2020 06:03 PM
Well, I think it will really help the community to improve kasi syempre playing with other competitive teams, mas marami ka ring matututunan -- Creamline star Alyssa Valdez on PVL-PSL collaboration tournament (Photo: Arvin Lim)
Alyssa Valdez and Denden Lazaro-Revilla believe that the players and fans will benefit the most when the proposed unified tournament featuring teams from the two major volleyball leagues in the country pushes through soon.
Speaking on the Crossover podcast, the two volleyball standouts agree that the talks between the two biggest stockholders of the sport – the Premier Volleyball League and the Philippine Superliga - for a collaboration is a monumental move toward elevating the level of play as well as uniting the community.
“Well, I think it will really help the community to improve kasi syempre playing with other competitive teams, mas marami ka ring matututunan,” said the Creamline spiker Valdez, the PVL’s crowd-drawer and most dominant hitter.
Teams from the two rival leagues have been competing to land marquee players. The PSL follows a one-league policy for players except for some special cases like those in the military and collegiate volleybelles who are allowed to cross leagues.
Players from popular collegiate team Ateneo de Manila University are mostly signed with clubs from the PVL while stars from its UAAP rival De La Salle University usually land on squads in the PSL.
A unified tourney – tentatively named Unity Cup – will give fans a chance to see their favorite college players reunite.
“I think volleyball in general will benefit on that aspect but at the same time, it’s really exciting. Kasi nakita lang nila na nagkakalaban-laban kami was when we played in college in the UAAP so I think it’s interesting also for the fans if mangyayari yon,” said Valdez, who won three titles for the Cool Smashers.
ChocoMucho’s newest libero Lazaro-Revilla, who saw action in the PSL with Cocolife and Petron before transferring to the PVL early this year, thinks that the Unity Cup will bring out the best in each of the participating teams.
“Same as Alyssa, there’s a bigger pool of players na you can watch out for, competing against each other,” said Lazaro, who won a title for Petron last year.
“Imagine F2 (Logistics) in the PSL competing against Creamline in the PVL, we’re all in just one league. And I think mas mau-unite yung mga fans as well and as players, we’re all looking forward to playing against each other again,” added the multi-awarded libero.
“Kasi like what Alyssa said, the last time we all play against each other was in college and a lot of the players now in the pro leagues didn’t even come from the UAAP, some came from the NCAA or even the provinces. So, a lot of good players to look out if that ever happens.”
Initial talks for the Unity Cup were made early this year but was stalled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that also affected both the PSL and the PVL’s calendar of events.
PVL’s organizer Sports Vision chief Ricky Palou said that certain issues with the format and number of participating teams were discussed with PSL chairman Philip Juico during their initial meetings.
Palou remains optimistic that the Unity Cup will push through next year once they get a chance to once again sit down on the matter.
“We’re hoping this thing will work out. Minor problems and we just have to work these things out and if we’re able to do this, we should get going. But we’re very hopeful,” he said.
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