Chery Tiggo welcomes talks of rival leagues’ merger
Philippine Superliga (PSL) champion franchise Chery Tiggo very much welcomed the possibility of a merger between the PSL and the Premier Volleyball League (PVL), top team officials said on Saturday.
Chery Tiggo team owner Rommel Sytin said the proposed joint leagues will help Philippine volleyball, which has not only enjoyed popularity locally but lately has also established an identity in the international stage.
“I always believe that a merger will be beneficial for the sport, both leagues, players and team owners,” Sytin told the Inquirer.
Chery Tiggo, which has won two PSL championships while carrying the Foton brand name, was flying high in the PSL Grand Prix, winning two of its three matches before the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic ground everything to a halt.
The team has experienced the ill effects of the so-called cold war between PSL and the PVL. Its biggest star, Jaja Santiago, used to shuttle back and forth between the two leagues when she was playing for the National University in the PVL Collegiate League in 2016.
The franchise, bolstered by Montenegrin enforcer Tatjana Bokan, was gearing up to capture the title it last won in the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
Then known as the Tornadoes, Chery Tiggo made the semifinals of the All-Filipino last year, and finished third place in the 2018 Grand Prix.
Officials of both leagues vowed to continue talks for a cross-over conference as soon as the lockdown is lifted.
The Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas had earlier lauded unity efforts which its officials said will boost the national team program.
In the last Southeast Asian Games, the Philippine men’s team stole the limelight from its women’s counterparts when it won a silver, dethroning longtime champion Thailand with a stunning semifinal win.
Several players from the women’s team, including stars Alyssa Valdez and Maddie Madayag of the PVL and Aby Maraño of the PSL voiced their wish for a unified league calendar to help boost the national program.
Jovelyn Gonzaga, who also had to do double duty to fulfill obligations with her PSL and PVL squads, also said unity would be a big help for the women’s volleyball scene.
The leaders of the PVL and the PSL said they were looking forward to meet on the issue.
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