PVL: Turning pro was a four-year process

PVL: Turning pro was a four-year process

Rick Olivares (Philstar.com) - November 17, 2020 - 12:00pm

MANILA, Philippines – The Premier Volleyball League turning professional is four years in the making.

The news created a buzz in the local sports landscape and breathed some life into the sport that had not seen any action since the start of the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic this past March.

“The backstory behind the Premier Volleyball League turning professional first began in 2016,” Sports Vision President Richard Palou told Philstar.com. This was the time when the league morphed from the old Shakey’s V-League into its new model.

“The Games and Amusements Board intimated to us about going pro,” said Palou. “We declined the offer because we felt as an organization and our clubs weren’t ready.”

Most teams were using collegiate players. Turning pro meant the players might have to choose to turn pro and lose their amateur status that will disallow them to play for their respective collegiate leagues. 

“We didn’t want to put the players and the schools in that situation. And that would have made the clubs suffer as well,” pointed out Palou.

Come November 2019, Sports Vision began internal discussions about turning professional.

By February 2020, they were more or less sold on the idea… except the pandemic hit.

During the pandemic, Fritz Gaston, former PBA player reached out to Palou, who is a colleague of his from Ateneo, and said that  GAB Chairman Baham Mitra wanted to revisit the idea of the PVL turning professional.

Two of Gaston’s daughters, Therese and Ponggay are either former or current players of the Ateneo Lady Eagles; a program that Palou headed previously while still employed by his alma mater.

“The timing was perfect,” noted Palou. “We met many times over as we discussed and resolved issues both with GAB and all the clubs until we found common ground. Of course, there were concerns, but at the end, everyone was all in.”

“It helps now that each club has its stable of players and are not reliant on collegiate players.”

When the PVL holds serve either February or March 2021, they will include current teams BaliPure, Banko Perlas, Chef Classics, Choco Mucho, Creamline, Motolite and Petro Gazz as well as two guest amateur teams Philippine Air Force and Army. 

“We hope that by the time that happens, we will have introduced equipment and a system for challenges,” shared Palou. “We are currently looking into equipment that will allow for challenges.”

“And we will definitely have a coveror,” summed up the PVL head honcho. “We are in negotiations.”

“What is important is the schedule of the games where in addition to live matches, we will have weekend offerings. This is so when things return to normal and we can have live audiences again, there are weekend matches to look forward to.”

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