PVL's Motolite releases players to free agency

Abac Cordero - Philstar.com
PVL's Motolite releases players to free agency
Team Motolite in action in this file photo.
Philstar.com / Luisa Morales

MANILA, Philippines – Despite its genuine efforts to keep the team intact, Motolite has decided to release its players in the Philippine Volleyball League (PVL) to free agency.

The two-year-old PVL franchise said a number of players declined to sign the new contracts that were offered them even during the pandemic.

And with no viable and competitive roster on hand, team officials deemed it was best to release all the players, including former MVP Myla Pablo.

“After management decided to strengthen the Motolite team, the players were asked to sign a contract that will take the team to at least 2022,” a team insider said.

“However, several of the players opted not to sign the contracts, leaving Motolite without a competitive team,” the source added.

The players, the team insider explained, did not want to be tied up to 2022, and sought contracts that would expire by the end of this year.

Still, the players declined, leaving management with very little options, and the decision to release all the players instead.

“With that, it became the best interest of everyone that the players be released so they can start actively seeking new teams without concerns or worries over their obligations with the team,” the source said.

Motolite management, which took care of all team members even at the height of the pandemic, came up with a package for the players and coaches to make the transition easier for them.

Concerns over the health and safety of the players and coaches, now that there is the threat of the new COVID-19 strain, also led to the decision.

Some team members have earlier expressed reservations over getting the vaccine. It remains unclear whether the government or the governing Philippine National Volleyball Federation, Inc. (PNVFI) would require all PVL players, coaches and staff to get the vaccine before competitions could resume.

The PVL is planning to conduct its first tournament on April 9 under a bubble setup in Laguna.

Aside from Pablo, also being released to free agency are Melissa Gohing, Iris Tolenada, Jessma Ramos, Bern Flora, Isa Molde, Ayel Estranero, Chloe Cortez, Jellie Tempiatura, Fhen Emnas, Grazielle Bombita and Mela Tunay.

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