Galanza, Wong headed for PVL clash
MANILA, Philippines — Jema Galanza and Deanna Wong, both stars at the collegiate arena, could now face off as professionals following the latter’s signing with Choco Mucho Flying Titans late July.
But that will have to wait a bit longer as the shadow of uncertainty continues to hang over the Philippine Volleyball League (PVL), which is still in the process of gaining special government clearance to resume training amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“There’s still no definite timeline,” Wong, Ateneo’s former star setter, said during an episode of So She Did vodcast over the weekend. “[They are] still (at the stage of) discussing protocols.”
“Though I feel it’s unlikely (this year). I feel it’s the season’s going to start next year—and that’s just a hunch of mine. It’s still a bit risky as of the moment since (COVID-19) cases haven’t gone down.”
“They are not sharing details for now,” said Galanza, the league’s former Most Valuable Player. “But I think they’re going to push for at least training (sessions to resume this year), so at least we could start next season early [in 2021].”
The PVL is still awaiting word from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases, which is responsible for drafting official guidelines during the global health crisis.
Only professional sports, most notably basketball and football, have been given the IATF nod, benefitting the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and the Philippine Football League (PFL) to at least begin their myriad steps in staging competition this year.
The PVL, however, will be facing a steep trek towards gaining such clearance, as it is semiprofessional in character and has no clear government regulatory body to act as an oversight office unlike the PBA and PFL under the Games and Amusements Board (GAB).
League president Ricky Palou told the Inquirer that they are still waiting for clearance from the agency.
“Our request was filed three weeks ago but still no word. We filed for both the PVL and the Spiker’s Turf,” he said in a message.
Earlier this month, Philippine Superliga, another volleyball league not covered by GAB, had been given permission to conduct non-contact training sessions.
But hope springs eternal for both Galanza and Wong, who are among the most celebrated couples in Philippine volleyball.
In fact, Wong already has a picture of what it could be like if competitions resume.
“I feel it’s going to be [behind closed doors], like the (National Basketball Association),” she said. “It’s will be [with] virtual (crowd).”
“It’s going to be weird, though, since we’re used to people watching us.” INQ