THERE is no stopping the Philippine Superliga (PSL) from launching the 2021 Gatorade-Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup from pushing through over the weekend at the sand courts of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).
PSL Chairman Philip Ella Juico told the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) online Forum that everything is set for the first volleyball event to restart during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, adding advance parties had already arrived in Subic, including two of the eight teams seeing action in the bubble competition that begins this Friday.
“Everything is in order. There are certain kinks to be ironed out, but the event is pushing through and the teams are ready,” said Juico in the weekly session on Tuesday.
Ginio Panganiban, PSL director for beach volleyball, is now in Subic to oversee the preparations and welcome the arrival of all participating teams.
The two teams representing Abanse Negrense had arrived in Subic, while the rest of the field that include guest team Kennedy Solar Energy-PetroGazz, Sta. Lucia (two teams), F2 Logistics, United Auctioneers Inc., and Toby Sports are coming on board by Wednesday.
Strict health protocols will be administered on all players and personnel involved in the tournament which is around 60 to 70. Saliva test will be done by the Red Cross Olongapo chapter.
“After the test, diretso na sila sa hotel where we will be quarantined for 24 hours. Once negative result comes out, then that’s the time they will be transferred to their designated twin sharing room,” said Panganiban, who also serves as competition director, in the session presented by San Miguel Corp., Go For Gold, MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
“Yung quarantine period, hindi puwedeng may kasama. Kailangan single room siya.”
A total of 24 matches will be played in the three-day event, where teams will first see action in pool play. Those which will advance then play in the quarterfinals, semis, and finals.
Games will be livestreamed via Youtube and Instagram.
“We were not able to bring it on free tv because of the shortness of time, but we are negotiating with GMA 7 for future events,” said Juico in the same public sports program powered by Smart and with Upstream Media as official webcast partner.
The event, according to the PSL chairman, was originally approved last year in the same venue and with the same format. Unfortunately due to Typhoon Ulysses, the tournament had to be called off at the last minute.
Nonetheless, Juico is proud to see the PSL leading the way in the restart of volleyball in the country during the pandemic era.
“This is a historic event for volleyball and non-professional sports since this is the first event that has been given permission by authorities to stage a sports competition,” he pointed out.