THE Shakey’s V-League sports a new look in its 14th season and will be known as the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) when it opens with the Reinforced Conference on April 30 at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.
The Spiker’s Turf will also be called as the PVL men’s volleyball tournament, according to officials of Sports Vision and ABS-CBN Sports + Action during the league’s launch on Tuesday at the ABS-CBN ELJ Communication Center in Quezon City.
“I would just like to say that, with the partnership between ABS-CBN Integrated Sports and Sports Vision for the PVL, this is only the start of something big,” said Sports Vision Chairman Moying Martelino, who graced the league’s launch with President Ricky Palou, Tournament Director Tony Liao and ABS-CBN Head of Integrated Sports Dino Laurena.
Six teams will see action in the triple header on opening day of the import-laced tournament. The Balipure Water Defenders and Philippine Air Force Lady Jet Spikers open hostilities at 2 p.m.
The Pocari Sweat Lady Warriors, who swept the V-League’s 13th season, take on the Power Smashers at 4 p.m., while Creamline Cool Smashers, starring Alyssa Valdez, battle their fellow expansion team Perlas Spikers at 6 p.m.
Spikers’ Turf Season 2 champions Philippine Air Force Jet Spikers face the Instituto Estetico Manila side at 10 a.m. Also seeing action in the men’s division are Cignal HD, Santa Elena Wrecking Balls, Philippine Army Troopers and expansion team Café Lupe Sunrisers.
Pocari Sweat lost its main player Michele Gumabao, who transferred to Philippine Superliga. But the Lady Warriors remained intact with Myla Pablo, Elaine Kasilag, Gyzelle Sy and Melissa Gohing forming the team’s core.
“Everybody is the team to beat. All teams are in equal footing and definitely this tournament is going to be exciting,” Pocari Sweat Head Coach Rommel Abella said.
Creamline is also billed as one of favorites despite being a new team with three-time V-League Most Valuable Player and former Ateneo star Alyssa Valdez leading the team coached by Tai Bundit.
Bali Pure of Coach Roger Gorayeb is powered by San Sebastian College players led by three-time National Collegiate Athletie Association MVP Grethcel Soltones and National University’s Jasmine Nabor, Risa Sato, Aiko Urdas and Jorelle Singh.
The Perlas Lady Spikers boast of Amy Ahomiro, Dzi Gervacio, Amanda Villanueva and imports Rupia Inck and Kaylee Manns, while the Power Smashers have Thai reinforcements Amporn Hyapha and Kannika Thipachot playing for veteran Coach Nes Pamilar.
The Philippine Air Force Lady Jet Spikers will be powered by veterans Wendy Semana, May Ann Pantino, Jocemer Tapic and Joy Cases and imports Patcharee Saengmuan and Taj Chupungco.
The PVL will also hold the All-Filipino Open Cup, Collegiate Cup and All-Star Sunday.
Image credits: Nonoy Lacza