V-LEAGUE DIARIES: SPIKE, DIG, AND PASS FROM DAY ONE
It is beyond doubt that volleyball has created its territory as one of the top emerging sports in the country. Filipinos, after all, crave intense, searing sports competitions. And soon we will once again see the stories, rivalry, and heart-skipping game of volleyball action once the country’s first-ever professional volleyball league opens.
Although there is basketball that can be seen in every corner of the country, it is proven that volleyball has caught up in its rank. The powerful spikes, swift defense, high powerful jumps that almost look like flying makes us an avid fan of the sport.
Writer’s Note: With the first-ever professional season of Premier Volleyball League fast approaching, let’s dive into stories that not only made up the dream volleyball league (hopefully) but also an anecdote of why we love the sport. Here we go through its history how it shaped the league.
Rivalries in Collegiate Tournaments
It is a fact that volleyball started making noises in collegiate tournaments. This became the platform that sparked excitement and attention in every die-hard and new fans, who witnessed and supported their own team all throughout the competition.
Collegiate tournaments such as the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) which features big teams such as Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU), De La Salle University (DLSU), University of Santo Tomas (UST) to name a few, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) that comprises of San Beda University (SBU), Mapua Institute of Technology (MAPUA), Arellano University (AU), etc. are the tournaments that started the ruckus in every Filipino.
Famous players emerge here as well namely Alyssa Valdez, Kim Keana Dy, Mika Reyes, Marck Espejo, Bryan Bagunas and so many to mention.
Establishment of Shakey’s V-League
Before the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) had come to the surface, Shakey’s V-League was the pioneer commercial volleyball league in the country.
It was established in 2004 as the Shakey’s V-League by Sports Vision Management Group, Inc. led by Jun Bernardino, Ricky Palou, Moying Martelino, and Rhea Navarrobefore then renaming it as Premier Volleyball League (PVL) in 2017. The league foundation was in cooperation with Shakey’s Pizza, the league’s title sponsor until 2016.
Its first conference markets an intercollegiate women’s league with teams participating from the UAAP, NCAA, CESAFI among others playing in the league. Then in 2011, the league welcomed the participation of corporate and non-collegiate teams.
In its 10th season, it acquired broadcasting rights in GMA News TV. Later on, it officially announced that the games will be airing on S+A Channel 23 following an agreement between Sports Vision, Shakey’s, and ABS-CBN Sports.
Mary Jean Balse, Suzanne Roces, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Rachel Anne Daquis, Alyssa Valdez, Dindin Santiago are the few superstars that competed in the historic league.
From then, the league became a ground in acquiring players to represent the country on the international stage. In 2013, a group of V-League stars had taken part in representing the country in the international competition which placed third, with host Vietnam sweeping the tournament after flaunting its might in the 4-nation meet.
Division of Two Major Leagues (PSL & PVL)
From then, Philippine SuperLiga (PSL) and Premier Volleyball League (PVL) had been established.
PSL started its conferences early in 2013 with “Tats” Suzara as the league’s president. The first PSL invitational in 2013 was envisioned to initially test the feasibility of a corporate-backed league in preparation for the official start of the first conference (PSL open) in 2014 which Solar Sports was the league’s official broadcaster.
PSL caters to stalwarts such as Mika Reyes, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Sisi Rondina, Kim Fajardo, Dawn Macandili, etc.
On the other hand, PVL was initially founded in 2017, the front runner of the Shakey’s V-League. The renaming was to bid more sponsorship for the league. Then, it was intended to change its name to Philippine Volleyball League, however, the idea was abandoned for the reason that another entity holds the name.
The Premier Volleyball League 1st Season Open Conference was on July 1, 2017, at the Filoil Flying V Centre, San Juan City. The league highlighted volleyball stars namely Alyssa Valdez, Nicole Tiamzon, Julia Morado, Jema Galanza, and more.
With the two major leagues of the country, it definitely made a ruckus in the volleyball community. And, fans hoped that the day would come that there would be a league that would cater talents in both leagues.
But recently, major teams in the PSL have made leaps on the other side namely powerhouses PLDT, Cignal, Sta. Lucia, Chery Tiggo, and F2 Logistics leaving the league with no active members. Many now are looking forward to watching PVL, a battlefield of their favored idols and a clash of the best-of-the-best volleyball athletes of the country.
PVL, A Hope for Unity of PH Volleyball
With the first pro-season of the Premier Volleyball League, volleyball fans are thrilled that their prayers are finally answered.
PVL is set to launch on May 8 which now has 12 teams consisting of Creamline, Choco Mucho, PetroGazz, Perlas, BaliPure, the Unlimited Athletes Club, Philippine Army, Cignal HD, PLDT, Sta. Lucia, Chery Tiggo, and F2 Logistics competing for the crown and the bragging rights as the first professional league volley champion.
PVL president Ricky Palou looks at the possibility that the league will open its way for the unity of the sport many are hoping for.
“This should also pave the way for the unity long sought for the sport,” said Palou.
Many are looking forward to a successful season as it has been around a year since our idols have not been in action due to the pandemic outbreak. With the debut of the league moving closer, let us celebrate with positivity the historic time of our loved sport—volleyball.