Unified league will complete dream of united Philippine volleyball

Mark Escarlote on Jul 01, 2020 11:48 AM
Unified league will complete dream of united PHI volleyball
In this week's TBH episode, ChocoMucho libero Denden Lazaro and the hosts talk about the dream of having a unified league.

A big leap in the progress of women’s volleyball in the Philippines is for players to see action in a unified club league.

ChocoMucho libero Denden Lazaro-Revilla and the girls of TBH all agree that a unified league will benefit the country’s volleyball program in the long run.

There are currently two rival club leagues in the country, the Premier Volleyball League and the Philippine Superliga.

“I think it might be political to say that I just hope one league na lang for everyone,” said Lazaro-Revilla.

While the PVL and PSL try to keep the level of competition in their respective leagues high, the division poses a hurdle in the progress and growth of players. Both leagues boast of high-caliber teams and stars but are limited to competing against each other in their respective leagues.

Differences in their leagues’ regulations and tournament schedules have also affected the formation and training of the national team. Conflict in schedule and unavailability of players pose a huge problem in preparation for international tournaments like the Southeast Asian Games.      

It also puts a division between fans of both leagues, most of the time triggering a debate about which league is better than the other.

A unified league might just solve all that.

“The volleyball community like us players we’re all united so it will be fun to play against each other again,” said Lazaro, who had played both in the defunct V-League and the PSL with Cocolife and powerhouse Petron before joining the Flying Titans early this year.

Acknowledging the clamor of both players and fans, the PVL and the PSL earlier this year sat down to discuss a unified tournament pitting teams from both leagues.

Although the talks were halted due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the management of both leagues expressed high hopes that the unified tournament - the Unity Cup - will push through next year.

"It will be awesome if we all play against each other in one league," said TBH host Ponggay Gaston.

"Parang magiging UAAP ulit," said the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles team captain. "We’re all gonna play against each other and we can also be teammates with each other. The sportsmanship will really grow and the program itself, the Philippine volleyball, will really grow if we just all join one league."

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