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PVL 2021 kicks off its first pro season

After numerous cancellations and circumstances brought by the pandemic, the anticipated Premier Volleyball League (PVL) finally began last Saturday, July 17 at the PCV Socio-Civic and Cultural Center in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte.

The PVL Open Conference eventually got an indication from the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) and the local government of Ilocos Norte to take off its professional season in a bubble setup.

The league also received approval from the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (RIATF) for the health and safety protocols.  

Aside from the usual rules of volleyball, PVL decided to add extra measures by enforcing the “no-hand shake” and “no switching court” policies throughout the tournament. Players and coaching staff on the bench are also required to wear face masks.

Even with fortuitous events brought by the heavy rains, which caused delays with some matches, the 10 participating teams battled it out to take the PVL crown in the first-ever pro scene in a single round-robin.

The defending champion of the recent conference, Creamline Cool Smashers continues their dominance having three wins and no losses in their pocket—with Alyssa Valdez leading the team. Following that, the Chery Tiggo Crossovers with a 2-1 win-loss record. They are composed of a powerhouse line-up, including the Santiago sisters.

The league newcomer PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters (0-3) are still working on their chemistry as they are still looking for their first win of the season. Also, Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors have struggled at the beginning of the conference with one win and three losses on the scoreboard.

On the other hand, Choco Mucho Flying Titans (2-0) are looking good as they are still undefeated after sweeping their last match against Sta. Lucia in dominating passion. 

Meanwhile, after tasting their first loss against Creamline, the Petro Gazz Angels (2-1) bounced bound in their straight-sets win, overpowering the team of Rachel Ann Daquis—Cignal HD Spikers, who are down to a 1-2 win-loss record in the standing.

Moreover, the veteran line-up of Black Mamba Army Lady Troopers (1-2) fell short, facing the league-leading Cools Smashers in a thrilling five-set game. The combined 32 points of Jovelyn Gonzaga and Honey Royse Tubino is not enough to take down the defending champion.

The gutsy plays of Balipure Water Defenders made a good impression, succeeding a huge upset win versus a strong title contender Chery Tiggo. The Balipure is led by their captain Grazielle Bombita with 24 markers (21 attacks, 2 blocks, and 1 ace). These drove the team 1-1 on the board.

In the case of Perlas Spikers, the players are set to conquer the PVL stage after finally getting clearance to play in the conference. Their prior ineligibility was due to their coaching staff testing positive with COVID-19. 

Commissioner Tonyboy Liao said, “The results came out already a while ago, they’re all negative.” Mr. Liao also stated that the Perlas Spikers will start playing in the coming matches.

For almost two years, the nation has not enjoyed any volleyball tournaments due to the health crisis. But now, volleyball is back as PVL starts its inaugural professional league, which will lead to more volleyball action to come.


LAYOUT BY: Quina Zyrhise L. Capane

PHOTO SOURCE(S): Inquirer, espn5

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