Thu. May 23rd, 2024
Cignal HD Spikers

Cignal celebrates after winning the Spikers’ Turf crown. Photo from Spikers’ Turf

MANILA, Philippines — The officials of Spikers’ Turf seek to replicate the same format of the Premier Volleyball League Invitationals, where overseas clubs enter the semifinal round to spice up the competition,  for the second conference of the men’s league in October.

Sports Vision president Ricky Palou, who runs both leagues including the collegiate tournament the V-League, bared that they are looking to invite clubs from other countries to play in the Spikers’ Turf, like what they have been doing in the PVL for the past two seasons.

“Ang plano namin sa Spikers’ Turf is mag-iimbita rin kami ng foreign teams para pumasok ulit sa semifinals. Same format we did with the PVL, we’ll get the top four teams in the elimination round and then bring in the two foreign teams,” Palou told reporters on Wednesday.

But the Spikers’ Turf officials haven’t decided if they will invite just one or two foreign teams and haven’t identified the countries they want to be part of the Philippine men’s league.

“We haven’t decided yet kung isa o dalawa, we’re trying to see if we can get two foreign teams to make it more interesting para sumikat din ang Spikers’ Turf. Volleyball is a game for both genders. So [kapag] sumikat din ang Spikers’ Turf everybody happy,” Palou said.

The PVL introduced the Invitational Conference last year and KingWhale Taipei saw action in the semis round but lost to Creamline in the winner-take-all Final. This season, two visiting foreign teams saw action with Japan’s Kurashiki Ablaze and Vietnam’s Kinh Bac-Bac Ninh.

Kurashiki ruled the recent Invitational Conference after outlasting Creamline in a five-set thriller last Sunday.

Twenty-four squads have expressed their desire to join the Spikers’ Turf, However, the officials are looking to trim it down to 12 local teams including club, military, and collegiate teams for its season-ending tournament, which will run from October to December.

“We’re looking at 24 [teams], pero ang gusto namin maka-12 lang eh. Kasi ang experience namin last time with that many teams, brinacket-bracket namin, at the end of the times (sic) itong team na ito tatlong games lang so hindi sulit sa kanila,” Palou said. “So we’d like to really trim it down to 12 pero pag-uusapan pa namin. Ang dami kasing gustong sumali. So we’ll see how that goes.”

“May mga club teams, may mga college teams. I think the college teams want to come in para makakuha ng exposure in preparation for their NCAA or UAAP. In the long run, we’d like to have more teams. The reason we’re looking at 12 para at least every week lahat ng teams makakalaro ng once. If you have more than 12 teams, may mga linggo na itong team na ito hindi nakalaro so it defeats the purpose of they coming in and getting exposure,” he added.

Cignal swept all its 15 games in the 11-team Open Conference last April, beating Cotabato in the championship series.

Aside from the Spikers’ Turf, Sports Vision is also staging the V-League starting on August 17 with eight teams each in the men’s and women’s divisions.

The second PVL All-Filipino Conference will kick off also in October to cap the 2023 season.



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By Sandra Winters

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