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Philippine Superliga eyeing a ‘complete menu’ of three indoor tourneys next year

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CONDITIONS PERMITTING, the Philippine Superliga is looking at staging three full indoor volleyball conferences next year. — PHILIPPINE SUPERLIGA FACEBOOK PAGE

ITS 2020 season derailed by the coronavirus pandemic, the Philippine Superliga (PSL) is looking at operating in far, ideal circumstances next year and stage a “complete menu” of three indoor volleyball tournaments.

Speaking at the online Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday, PSL chairman Philip Ella Juico shared that while the pandemic has effectively shut down the league this year, they remain undeterred and are now planning their push to return in 2021 with a bang.

He, however, said that everything they are working on is in compliance with prevailing guidelines in relation to the pandemic and in collaboration with pertinent government agencies.

“We will have a complete menu. The plan is to have three regular conferences. But all of these are premised on the IATF (Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) approval in both the national and regional levels and the different LGUs (local government units) where we will hold the competitions and practices,” said Mr. Juico.

The PSL actually got some games in for its 2020 season in the import-laden Grand Prix tournament, but eventually moved to cancel the entire season in March as the country was placed under strict community quarantine to guard against the spread of the coronavirus.

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The league tried to make a return this year by way of beach volleyball, scheduling a “bubble” tournament in Subic, Zambales, on Nov. 28 to 30.

But because of the string of bad weather that affected the country recently, and is expected to hit still as the year ends, the PSL decided to move the tournament to mid-February.

For their planned indoor tournaments next year, the PSL has pencilled March, June or July, and October as possible starts for the three conferences.

Unlike in previous seasons, however, the Grand Prix that usually kicks off the PSL year will be the last tournament to be played so as to allow imports to come in and have more time to adjust to conditions by that time.

Mr. Juico admitted that at this point, largely it is still wait-and-see not only in volleyball but sports in general. But he believes things are looking up and slowly but surely sports is making its way back.

“Overall, sports is making a big rebound,” he said. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo

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