Pro basketball, football clearance raises hope for volleyball
Mark Escarlote on Jul 03, 2020 06:15 PM
(Photo: Arvin Lim)
Commercial volleyball league stakeholders have high hopes that their activities will also resume soon following the government’s clearance for professional basketball and football leagues to start training.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a press briefing on Friday announced that the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases gave the green light for the resumption of training for PBA and the Philippine Football League teams.
The Philippine Sports Commission, Games and Amusement Board and the Department of Health drafted the guidelines for the resumption of training.
Roque made no mention of volleyball in the announcement.
The country’s second most popular sport next to basketball has no professional league.
The Premier Volleyball League and the Philippine Superliga are both categorized as amateur or semi-professional along with the collegiate leagues including the UAAP and NCAA.
“We’re preparing a request. Ang sinasabi kasi nila ay professional sports muna and sa amateurs parang wala pa eh but we’re working on it,” PVL organizer Sports Vision president Ricky Palou told ABS-CBN Sports.
PSL president Dr. Ian Laurel expressed optimism that volleyball will follow suit.
“Ang expectation natin ay susunod na tayo,” he said. “It’s a step in the right direction or signal that sports are being discussed in the IATF.”
“That’s already a step in the right direction for us. Hindi naman mahalaga kung sino ang unang papayagan eh. Ang importante yung konsepto na yung sports eh kino-consider at napag-uusapan. Pero susunod na yan very optimistic ako,” added Laurel.
While PBA and the PFL sought help from GAB, commercial leagues course their IATF request through the PSC.
“Kami ang PSC ang kailangan naming lapitan. Kapag amateur kasi PSC. What will happen is PSC will endorse it to IATF. Bahala na ang IATF kung papayag sila o hindi,” Palou said.
In a separate request to the IATF last month, national sports association leaders from athletics, basketball, volleyball, football, rugby, gymnastics and karate crafted a one-month trial program for athletes to resume training under a strict health and safety protocol.
The IATF has yet to decide on their requests aside from the clearance they gave to the PBA and the PFL.
“We don’t know what they’re thinking on amateur sports eh kasi right now ang pinayagan lang ‘yung football and basketball professional league lang. Eh kami di naman kami pro, we’re amateurs so we’re going to PSC,” Palou said.
PSL halted its ongoing Grand Prix last March at the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic while the PVL’s fourth season was supposed to begin last May but was pushed back because of the health crisis.
Both leagues hope to resume activities once volleyball gets the go-signal from the IATF.
“We’re hoping [na mapayagan na rin ang volleyball]. They’ve already allowed football and basketball siguro naman there’s no reason why [volleyball should not be allowed to resume] as long we comply with what they want and we comply with their protocols. I don’t see why [volleyball] shouldn’t be allowed,” said Palou.
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