IT has been more than a week since Chery Tiggo earned the distinction as the country’s first professional volleyball champion and the PVL was very grateful to pull it off the most challenging conference ever.
Despite all the hurdles that came along the way in the Ilocos Norte bubble, the professional launch of the PVL proved successful in terms of managing the month-long Open Conference amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With a pandemic-friendly environment, all our hard work that has been invested has paid off,” said league president Ricky Palou.
It took a lot of effort to making the turnaround a reality with the organizing Sports Vision citing the help and cooperation of Ilocos Norte, which offered to host the launch in a tightly-secured bubble environment and under league guidelines/restrictions in consonance with such measures from the LGU, being health, well-being and safety of each player and delegation the top priority.
“We’re grateful to Gov. (Matthew) Manotoc and Games and Amusements Board chairman Baham Mitra for their inspiration and encouragement,” said Palou.
Mitra, Palou, added also watched some of the matches along with GAB commissioner Fritz Gaston, and even offered to assist and went out of his way to talk to the agencies concerned to help ensure the smooth conduct of the competitions.
The PVL also commended the support of Ilocos Norte First District Rep. Ria Christina Fariñas and Bacarra Mayor Fritzie Ann Kaye Gapasin for the hosting of the tournament at the PCV Socio-Civic & Cultural Center.
The PVL’s first pro tournament held in a highly competitive but friendly environment, according to Palou, also encapsulated the need for an outlet for athletes during the pandemic and at the same proved that sports events can resume under safely and controlled conditions.
Palou also praised Cignal TV Inc. and TV5 Network, headed by president/CEO Robert Galang and vice president for Channels and Content Siena Olaso, for providing the link between the tournament and the fans in “closed-door” setup via live broadcast of the games on One Sports+ on Cignal TV’s multiple on-air and digital platforms.
Cignal TV, in fact, has said it is crafting a solid plan for the league throughout their partnership run for the next three years.
The cooperation of the 10 clubs, which all committed themselves for the next conference, as well as the fans, who draw inspiration and energy from them, was crucial for the success of the tournament.
Sorely missed by the players, the fans stayed glued on television and other livestreaming platforms during the course of the event.
“We’re so relieved to have successfully launched the inaugurals despite the challenges during this pandemic,” said Palou. “This will only push us to work harder to guarantee the continued success of this unified pro league in the years to come.”
The PVL is plotting to open its second conference either in late October or early November with the hope of staging the tournament within Metro Manila if health and safety conditions allow.