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PVL tweaks rules as AFC unwraps

PVL chairman Tonyboy Liao, PVL competition Sherwin Malonzo, Cignal FVP Sienna Olaso and Cignal Head Channel Management and Programming Rissa Guillas spearhead the launching of the PVL All-Filipino Conference.(PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF PVL)

The Premier Volleyball League has tweaked some of its game rules to be implemented in the season-ending All-Filipino Conference kicking off Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Newly-appointed competition director Sherwin Malonzo announced the changes and the format of this year’s second serving of the all-Filipino tournament featuring an expanded 12-team field on Wednesday during the press launch at the Discovery Suites.

The participating teams will play a single round robin elimination with the top four squads advancing to the semifinals.

“The elimination round is gonna be single round robin so all 12 teams will have the opportunity to play against each other so that’s about 66 matches,” Malonzo, who was joined by league officials, coaches and team captains during the media conference, said.

“Come semifinals, it’s going to be the top four teams to be pooled No. 1 (seed) versus No. 4 and No. 2 versus No. 3, and they’ll play a best-of-three match. The winners will play for the gold medal match and the losers of the semifinal round are gonna play for the second runner-up match which is also best-of-three.”

But what makes the conference different from the previous editions is that there will only be one technical timeout from first to fourth sets this time instead of two.

Coaches will also be given only one 30-second regular timeout per frame.

The video challenge rule of two per set will remain.

“Since the introduction of the video challenge, games tend to get longer especially if it goes to five sets. So, what we’re introducing now is one, we’re gonna have one technical timeout for this coming conference,” Malonzo said.

Instead of the usual technical timeouts called when a team reaches 8 and 16 points, it will now be whistled after a squad reaches the 13th point with a two-minute duration. No technical timeout will be called in the fifth set.

“As for the video challenge, it will be the same but this time coaches will be allowed to talk to their players while doing the video challenge,” Malonzo explained.

Another significant deviation is the change court where teams will only switch sides only after the second set.

Set breaks except for the second to third frames will be three minutes each. A five-minute break will be implemented during the course of the change court.

Defending champion Creamline will begin its back-to-back AFC title quest on Sunday against sister-team Choco Mucho in the main game of the triple-header playdate at 7 p.m.

Also clashing in the heavyweight opening day card are PLDT and Cignal at 5 p.m. while newcomer Nxled battles Gerflor at 3 p.m.

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