PVL’s first pro season a go in Ilocos Norte, but without live audience

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Strict health protocols are in place as Ilocos Norte hosts the maiden season of the Premier Volleyball League, which is set to take off on Saturday (July 17) in Bacarra town, Ilocos Norte. PHOTO FROM PVL

LAOAG CITY—The maiden pro season of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) will push through as scheduled in Ilocos Norte province on Saturday amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in recent days, according to Ilocos Norte sports consultant Faivo Bartolome on Friday.

“Everything is set and okay,” said Bartolome in a radio interview, adding that all permits had been cleared with the national COVID-19 task force and the Games and Amusement Board.

The games will be played at the PCV Socio-Civic and Cultural Center in Bacarra town, Ilocos Norte, around seven kilometers away from the province’s capital city of Laoag.

The first professional season of the league was supposed to have a bigger venue in Ilocos Norte Centennial Arena in Laoag City. It had to move to Bacarra because Laoag has been placed on modified enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) since July 10.

Laoag currently has the highest number of active COVID-19 cases with 506. Bacarra has 60 active cases, according to provincial government data.

“Luckily, we were able to prepare in Bacarra as it was originally determined as a practice court, but it will now serve as the tournament court of the PVL games,” said Bartolome.

Faivo said the 10 teams that will be competing in a strict “sports bubble” arrangement, where player movement is restricted only to the tournament venue and their hotels.
The PVL management has imposed strict health measures, doing away with the usual switching of court sides and handshakes to minimize close contact between the competing teams.

The games will be held without a live audience, said Faivo.

On Thursday, Ilocos Norte Gov. Matthew Marcos Manotoc said in a statement that the “safety and insulation of the volleyball training bubbles in the province” have been ensured.

TSB/CFC

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