MANILA, Philippines (Updated 4:54 p.m.) — Just when the Premier Volleyball League is gearing up for a grand start to its first professional season, top club Motolite had a change of heart, deciding to take a leave of absence due to the global health crisis.
The Philippine Batteries, Inc.-owned team, which joined the PVL in 2018 on a squad built around the core of the Ateneo Lady Eagles then changed its makeup in 2019 on a team headed by former National U star Myla Pablo, placed fourth in the 2019 Open Conference after failing to make it past the elims in the Reinforced Conference.
Sports Vision president Ricky Palou said he hasn't been informed by the Motolite management of its decision but remained confident of still putting up an eight-team roster or even 10 squads for their inaugural pro season.
"I haven't been informed about the leave of absence of Motolite. But I've heard about this from other people. I'd rather not comment on this issue until I hear from the Motolite organization," said Palou.
"But we are still looking at eight teams for our bubble tournament with a strong possibility of even 10 teams," he added.
The country’s premier volley league scrapped its 2020 season due to pandemic.
But amid the uncertainties generated by the Covid-19 coronavirus, the PBI apparently deemed it prudent to take a break, leaving the players in a dilemma as to which team to suit up in the keenly awaited resumption of the league.
Sources, however, said the players could ask for a buyout if another team from the PVL would want to sign them up.
Aside from Pablo, other Motolite stalwarts are former UP stars Isa Molde and Tots Carlos, ace playmaker Iris Tolenada, Ayel Estranero, Fhen Emnas, Grazielle Bombita and Mela Tunay.
The organizing Sports Vision Management Group. Inc. is eyeing an April 10 launch of the country’s first women’s professional volleyball competitions with eight teams tipped to compete.
Concerns on the teams’ composition, the players’ salaries and teams’ cap and the rookie draft plus other basic details are being ironed out in time for the inaugurals that is expected to feature Creamline, Choco Mucho, Banko Perlas and Petro Gazz along with Bali Pure, Chef’s Classic and the combined Philippine Army-Air Force squad as guest teams.
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