For sports fans, the relaxation of restrictions and the implementation of reasonable health and safety protocols to enable the resumption of league-based sporting events cannot come soon enough. And it is not only professional basketball with the PBA that the country is waiting for. There is also a significant audience for pro women’s volleyball as well. It is not a surprise considering many players here would already have built a following from televised collegiate play. The Philippine Super Liga (PSL) is just as antsy towards starting play as the basketball aces, so news that they might restart later this year is welcome news for everybody.
The Philippine Star would have it that the country’s health and gaming commissions have just given the go-ahead to the Philippine Super Liga to prepare for renewed game practice for its constituent teams starting next month in August. This is necessary to allow the league to have plenty of time to condition its players in the hope of holding at least one PSL conference in the 2020 season, seeing as the year has been decimated sporting-wise by the COVID-19 pandemic. They thus join the PBA and the PFL as the “big three” pro-sports leagues with COVID-safety practice rules officially finalized.
According to Ariel Paredes, Super Liga operations director, league authorities have met with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Games and Amusement Board (GAB) and the Department of Health (DOH) to hash out implementing rules in health and safety protocols to enable their volleyball teams to practice and do drills. Now all that is left is for the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) overseeing COVID response to allow their planned start of practice for August. If given the green-light, there would be enough time to get ready for a 2020 season All-Filipino Conference (AFC) for PSL contention.
“As we planned to organized the 2020 AFC, if the government will allow it. We’re now studying how to conduct competition,” explains Paredes concerning the discussion with the DOH and other officials. “Mainly, we must have one competition hall with very effected health and safety protocols with low risk on COVID.” For the AFC competition, the Super Liga proposes selecting one host venue in a city with a low COVID-19 infection rate, where all conference games will be played behind closed doors without audiences. Similar formats have been done for their 2020 Grand Prix Conference earlier this year before being ultimately canceled by the lockdowns.
The reason for the possible single PSL conference late this year being All-Filipino is that the league had let its import players depart following the cancellation of the GPC when the COVID-19 pandemic got serious.
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