PSL goes high-tech as Grand Prix kicks off| Inquirer Sports
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PSL goes high-tech as Grand Prix kicks off

/ 04:30 AM February 29, 2020

Mika Reyes hopes to build more winning moments with new team Sta. Lucia Realty. —MIX GATPANDAN/CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

There will be so many ways to enjoy the Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix, even if you can’t troop to the game venues to enjoy live action: Via traditional TV coverage or online streaming—complete with interactive options.

The interactive option, one of the league’s innovations for the 2020 season, will provide “video game-like” experience for those who will stream games, with PSL president Ian Laurel revealing that the league will put up several cameras inside the court aside from those provided by regular television coverage partner ESPN5.

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“We will do livestreaming in an integrated and interactive approach so fans can watch through our website and (with access) to web competitions manager [that will] provide score sheets,” Laurel said.

The PSL has over the years launched several new ideas to the game, most strikingly the video challenge which the collegiate leagues are trying to obtain.

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Vulnerable

“This is our biggest season ever,” said Laurel of the league’s eighth season. “We have achieved a level of success in a short period of time.”

Two-time defending champion Petron opens hostilities when it squares off with Generika-Ayala, while PLDT Home Fibr debuts against Sta. Lucia in Saturday’s opening at FilOil Flying V Centre.

“This year the teams are balanced. As in anybody from four to five teams can win the championship,” Laurel added.

He was referring to intact F2 Logistics, Chery Tiggo (formerly Foton), Cignal, Sta. Lucia and Petron.

The Blaze Spikers may seem vulnerable in their title defense, having lost key players in the offseason. But with import Kath Bell making a comeback to support the holdovers like Ces Molina, Aiza Pontillas and Remy Palma, Petron is still a force to be reckoned with.

Most of the games will be played at Filoil although Laurel said there are “seven to eight” games that will be played elsewhere to satisfy the request of local government units.

There will be one import per team this year, unlike in the previous seasons where the number of reinforcements per team went as high as three.

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“We have decided based on our planning session with team owners that having more than one import takes away the roles of the locals,” Laurel said. “Because the imports tend to do­minate the matches.”

The court will also have three colors instead of the usual two.

“We want to differentiate the front row from the back row by having darker shade of orange in the front,” he added.

Completing the teams are Marinerang Pilipina and Generika-Ayala, which will parade veteran Rhea Dimaculangan.

Eya Laure (top) and Mylene Paat will hold the fort for Chery Tiggo locals as the team awaits the return of sisters Jaja Santiago and Dindin Santiago-Manabat.

Chery Tiggo acquired Mylene Paat to pair with spiker Eya Laure as the Crossovers will await the return of towering sisters Jaja Santiago and Dindin Santiago-Manabat, who are still playing in Japan.

It was Sta. Lucia, however, that pulled off the biggest move in the offseason by tabbing former Petron star Mika Reyes.

F2, meanwhile, will be bolstered by a core of former La Salle standouts under the stern steering of coach Ramil de Jesus. Cignal brings back its core that made huge strides last season.

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TAGS: Philippine Superliga, PSL, PSL Grand Prix, Sports, Volleyball
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