PREMIER Volleyball League newcomer PLDT Home Fibr was given clearance by the Games and Amusements Board to hold a 14-day bubble training camp at Splendido Hotel in Alfonso, Tagaytay.
For Power Hitters head coach Roger Gorayeb, the camp, which started exactly a week ago, is crucial for their build up to the Open Conference as they were only able to hold practice at Paco Arena twice before Metro Manila was placed under the highest level of community quarantine in late March.
“Malaking bagay ito kasi matagal na kaming hindi nag-prapractice. Nag-practice na nga kami, dalawang araw nga lang dahil nag ECQ,” said Gorayeb.
“Kaya nag-worry ako kasi yung ibang team nag-start na. Mayroon sa Subic at sa Clark. Nag-push talaga ako kay Sir Bajjie (Del Rosario, PLDT team manager) kasi naiiwan na tayo,” he added.
Sister clubs Creamline and Choco Mucho have been in a training bubble in Clark since April 27.
The Power Hitters’ Tagaytay training camp will end on May 22.
The Splendido bubble will give chance to PLDT’s new recruits Rhea Dimaculangan, Isa Molde, Marist Layug, Eli Soyud, Chin Basas, Yeye Gabarda and Nieza Viray to connect with are holdovers Shola Alvarez, Jorelle Singh, Aiko Urdas, Joyce Sta. Rita, Vira Guillema, Kath Villegas and Alyssa Eroa.
Although the players are in shape, Gorayeb streesed the need for the Power Hitters to shake off some rust after a year-long layoff.
“Kasi halos talagang isang taon na na walang ensayo. True enough, kondisyon yung katawan nila dahil nag-Zoom training naman kami pero yung skills, hirap mag-service at receive. Kaya sana maayos namin ito dahil hanggang next week kami dito,” said Gorayeb, who is joined by assistant coaches Clint Malazo and Ariel Dela Cruz.
The PVL is plotting to hold its 2021 season in a tightly-secured bubble environment in July.
Meanwhile, GAB chairman Abraham “Baham” Mitra said the training bubbles of PLDT and the Rebisco clubs should serve as an inspiration for the other PVL teams to find a local government host in low-risk areas so that they could also resume their preparations for the looming season.
“Properly coordinated yan. Binibiro ko nga sila, I guess you guys must come out with pictures kasi yung other teams, wait-and-see pa rin,” said Mitra.
“Sila they fully complied. Nandiyan yung LGU clearance din nila, health protocols, plus nag-inspection na ng venue. So, since nagumpisa na yung PLDT team at Rebisco, puwede na rin yung iba. Sundan natin yung example nila na maaga pa, naka-request na at nagpa-inspect para makapag-ensayo na tayo,” he added.