The Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) is set to launch the Champions League (CL), a nationwide tournament which aims to feature high-level competition that will elevate the sport in the country.
According to PNVF president Ramon "Tats" Suzara, the league will have separate tournaments for men's and women's teams, both of which are scheduled for November.
The federation is looking to open the competition with the distaff side from 13 to 19 November, before bringing the action to the men's side from 20 to 26 November.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the league will be held under a semi-bubble environment with the Ilocos Norte Centennial Arena in Laoag City, Claro M. Recto Events Center in Lipa City, or Tagaytay City listed as potential venues.
Eight teams will be divided into two groups, and each will engage in a round-robin format in the preliminaries. A cross-over single elimination format will then ensue in the quarter-finals once the rankings are determined.
The competition will then move on to the semi-final and final rounds, where the remaining club teams will jockey for podium positions. Meanwhile, squads that crashed out of contention in the quarter-finals will be relegated to the classification phase.
Teams will have until 20 October to submit their 20-player rosters.
The federation has already sent out invitations to several Premier Volleyball League (PVL) clubs such as Cignal HD, Black Mamba-Army, Sta. Lucia, Chery Tiggo, PetroGazz and F2 Logistics, as well as teams from Baguio City and Iligan City.
“It is also one of the PNVF’s 10-point agendas which is to serve Filipino families with entertainment through volleyball and to make volleyball a widely played sport by elevating it through high-performance competition,” said Suzara.
Plans for Philippine volleyball in 2022
Speaking of agendas, the PNVF also laid out its plans for Philippine volleyball in 2022.
The schedule starts off with the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam which is tentatively set for March. This will be followed by the 21st Asian Senior Women's Volleyball Championship in Pampanga, slated on 15 to 22 May.
Also included in the sporting calendar is the Philippine leg of the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) men’s division, which will feature teams from eight nations, scheduled from 20 to 26 June.
Furthermore, the federation revealed that it is hoping to send a contingent in the 19th Asian Games set from 10 to 25 September in Hangzhou, China. It also plans to stage two Champions League editions in April and December.
Meanwhile, the PVL has its eyes set on resuming activities with two separate conferences in February and October.
Ohmer Bautista is a sports journalist who has covered local and international sporting events in the Philippines. The views expressed are his own.