All-Filipino Conference kicks off new PVL season

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
All-Filipino Conference kicks off new PVL season
Premier Volleyball League coaches and league representatives during the pre-tournament press conference at Discovery Suites in Ortigas on Saturday, January 28
Philstar.com / Luisa Morales

MANILA, Philippines — The Premier Volleyball League (PVL) will commence its sixth season with the All-Filipino Conference slated to begin on February 4 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Formerly known as the Open Conference, the tournament will feature nine all-local teams that will engage in a single-round robin elimination round before the Top 4 teams at the end of it move on to the semifinal round.

Like the previous Reinforced Conference last season, the tournament will also have a single-round robin format in the semifinals before the Top 2 teams engage in a best-of-three finals series.

The battle for bronze, which will feature the two other semifinalists not in the final, will also play in a best-of-three series for the third place finish.

Defending champions Creamline Cool Smashers go into the tournament as the team to beat along with the Petro Gazz Angels, the Cignal HD Spikers, the F2 Logistics, the PLDT High Speed Hitters, the Chery Tiggo Crossovers, the Akari Chargers, the Choco Mucho Flying Titans, and the Black Mamba Army.

PVL President Ricky Palou sees a neck-and-neck tournament with player and coach movement shaking up the landscape of many teams in the league.

"All the teams, year in and year out, are trying to improve their line-up. This year, we saw a lot of player movements from one team to another team. The reason for this is because this teams want to beef up their line-ups and beef up their strengths," said Palou during the pre-tournament press conference at Discovery Suites on Saturday.

"I'm sure, all the teams now will be more competitive than in the past. I'm sure the fans will enjoy this," he added.

Of note that the PVL will now be returning to pre-pandemic protocols, according to tournament director Tony Boy Liao.

"We will do again the protocols that have been happening before the pandemic," he said.

On-court handshakes done traditionally before and after the game will now be allowed, as well as court changes in between sets.

A match between the Akari Chargers and the Choco Mucho Flying Titans kick off the hostilities at 4 p.m. on February 4 before a rematch of the Reinforced Conference finals between Creamline and Petro Gazz features in the main game at 6 p.m.

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