THE PLDT Home Fibr Hitters are currently in a “bubble” camp in Tagaytay where they are hoping to shape up in preparation for the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) which is targeted to start by the middle of this year.

The PVL-returning Power Hitters have set up camp at Splendido Hotel in Alfonso and will stay there until May 22 as part of their buildup.

PLDT coach Roger Gorayeb shared that the Tagaytay camp is crucial since the team only had limited training sessions prior since the National Capital Region was put under Enhanced Community Quarantine and then MECQ from late March to last week.

“This is big for us because we had a long break in practices with the ECQ. We were worried because other teams were already training in places like Subic (Zambales) and Clark (Pampanga),” said Mr. Gorayeb in Filipino.

“I really pushed our team officials to make the bubble training possible because we were being left behind.”

In the Splendido bubble are PLDT’s new recruits Rhea Dimaculangan, Isa Molde, Marist Layug, Eli Soyud, Chin Basas, Yeye Gabarda, and Nieza Viray.

Completing the team are holdovers Shola Alvarez, Jorelle Singh, Aiko Urdas, Joyce Sta. Rita, Vira Guillema, Kath Villegas, and Alyssa Eroa.

Mr. Gorayeb said that while the players are in shape, they are still finding their game form, something they hope to achieve with the ongoing training bubble.

“They went for almost a year without proper practice. While they are physically conditioned, they are still finding their way back on court,” said Mr. Gorayeb, who is joined in the camp by assistant coaches Clint Malazo and Ariel Dela Cruz.

Prior to proceeding to the bubble, the team made sure to have the needed requirements and approval from the Games and Amusements Board and the local government unit.

PLDT is returning to the PVL after years of parading its wares at the Philippine Superliga.

The PVL will be operating as a professional league, with an expanded field, when its new season kicks off after turning pro late last year. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo