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PVL rallies behind Phl Team

The Premier Volleyball League threw its support to the national team, saying that it will adjust its schedule to accommodate its participation in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia.

PVL commissioner Tonyboy Liao yesterday said that after holding the All-Filipino Conference on 30 March, they will allow their players to join the national squad that is looking to clinch a SEA Games medal for the first time since 2005.

With that, the national spikers will have more than one month to prepare, sharpen their skills and develop chemistry against the best teams in the region.

“The first conference will be done by 30 March then those who will be selected for the national pool will train twice a week for the national team on Sundays and Mondays. They will go full blast in their training for one month before the SEA Games,” Liao, the federation’s national team commission chairperson, told Daily Tribune in a telephone conversation.

Liao added that the midseason Invitational Conference will commence after the SEA Games while the season-ending Reinforced Conference will start after the 19th Asian Games in September.

“We are scheduled in such a way that we won’t clash with the international events where the national team will be joining and, at the same time, the players can still play for their club teams.”

Last year, the Philippines missed out on SEA Games glory after Indonesia denied it of a podium finish following a 25-21, 22-25, 25-19, 25-21 victory in the bronze medal match.

This year, the federation is looking to hold a two-week training camp in Japan, where it is expected to face the best collegiate and club teams.

“On the first week of April, they will fly to Japan for a two-week training,” Liao said.

“We will have a board meeting on the 17th so we will discuss more it. The federation just signed a joint training with the Japan Volleyball Association during the first week of January.”

Just like last year, the Philippines will send a team composed of PVL players as the federation won’t be able to tap collegiate players with the women’s volleyball season of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 85 in full swing starting February.

It means players such as Season 84 Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player Bella Belen and Best Libero Jen Nierva of National University, Eya Laure of University of Santo Tomas and Faith Nisperos of Ateneo de Manila University will miss out on the biennial meet due to their commitments with their respective schools.

“It will be all PVL players. No collegiate players as the UAAP will still be ongoing in May,” Liao said.

“The student-athletes won’t be able to make it as they will still be in the middle of the season.”

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