Pioneering pro volley league finally takes off July 17

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After all the multiple resets and training bubble woes, the Premier Volleyball League finally unveils its Open Conference on July 17 in Ilocos Norte with 10 teams all set to serve their respective title drives for bragging rights as champion of the country’s first-ever professional volley league.

The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte approved the conduct of the five-week bubble tournament at PCV Socio-Civic Cultural Center in Bacarra, with the Games and Amusements Board, which regulates and supervises pro sports, issuing licenses to the league, the teams and their respective players.

“The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) has stepped up our ‘sports tourism’ potential by hosting training bubbles of various national sports teams to aid in the stable recovery of our province,” Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Manotoc wrote organizing Sports Vision Management Group Inc. president Ricky Palou. “In line with this, we are pleased to inform you that your request to conduct the Open Conference of the PVL from July 17 to Aug. 20, 2021, under an Athletic Bubble Type Training and Competition, is approved.”

“We are elated that we will be able to start the first professional season of the league,” said Palou.

He later announced the withdrawal of F2 Logistics from the inaugurals due to a spate of player injuries.

“We are saddened by F2 Logistics’ withdrawal,” said Palou. “However, we understand that health and well-being of the athletes come first.”

But the depth of the field remains as talent-laden and formidable as ever with league mainstays Creamline, Petro Gazz, Perlas, Choco Mucho and Bali Pure, guest squad Philippine Army, and transferees Cignal, PLDT, Sta. Lucia and Chery Tiggo bannering the 10-team cast.

The PVL games will be available on One Sports, Cignal, Smart Gigafest, and the league’s official website, PVL.ph.

To reach their desired form, teams set up their respective bubble training camps in various provinces. PLDT trained in Tagaytay, Perlas geared up for the inaugurals in Baguio, Cignal HD and F2 Logistics stepped up their buildup in Batangas, and BaliPure set up its camp in San Fernando, Pampanga.

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