UAAP, NCAA champions banner Shakey’s Super League preseason tilt
MANILA, Philippines—The collegiate preseason volleyball tournament finally returns in this pandemic era as Shakey’s Pizza Ventures, Inc. (SPAVI) and the Athletics Events and Sports Management Group of the Philippines (ACES Philippines)—the people behind the Philippine Superliga—on Tuesday forged an agreement to stage Shakey’s Super League which begins next month.
Ten teams from the NCAA, led by unbeaten champion College of Saint Benilde, and six UAAP schools, bannered by Season 84 sweeper National University and runner-up La Salle, will see action in the rebirth of the preseason volleyball tournament from September 22 to November 28.
“We are happy to be here and we are happy that Shakey’s has come forward to support volleyball. All it took was a call from our president, Mr. Ian Laurel, to find out if Shakey’s was open to the possibility of getting involved in volleyball. After all, Shakey’s for 13 seasons was synonymous with volleyball, and volleyball was synonymous with Shakey’s. We believe it was time to revive that relationship after the pandemic,” said ACES CEO and Super League chairman Philip Ella Juico during a press launch in Paranaque City.
“I want to call it sama-sama lahat (everyone together), because we are all here together as a family, as a community,” added the leading figure in the PSL, which took a leave after sports leagues were hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2019.
Vic Gregorio, president of SPAVI, is elated to sponsor a volleyball league again after six years since the company backed the V-League — now known as the Premier Volleyball League — from 2004 to 2016.
“We’re glad to partner with ACES. We are very serious in continuing the commitment that we started way back, in providing an opportunity for volleyball teams, volleyball players, and help make volleyball, women’s volleyball, in particular, even more, popular than what it is,” Gregorio said. “We feel that this is a very fantastic opportunity for the brand to give back. We’re very happy to be given another chance to promote women’s volleyball in the Philippines.”
Among the attendees are representatives from 14 schools including NU, Far Eastern University, Ateneo, University of Santo Tomas and St. Benilde, Arellano, Jose Rizal University, San Sebastian, Mapua, San Beda, Lyceum, Emilio Aguinaldo College, Letran, and University of Perpetual Help. La Salle and University of the East didn’t attend the presser but they are committed to play.
“I think from the perspective of a coach, it’s very important that there’s a preseason, for the team to have the experience, for the coach to gauge where the team is. This preseason which I believe will now be officially launched and be consistently held, so will be a very big help for the schools that will take part in this tournament, specifically for the UAAP teams and the NCAA teams. This is very important,” said NU athletic director Otie Camangian.
SSL president Dr. Ian Laurel said Adamson and University of the Philippines will decide if they will participate or not.
The league will implement a “play-all rule” with the coaches needing to field all of their players in the first two sets. The games will be aired on My Plus Network YouTube and social media platforms and it will be the first league to go live on TikTok.
“Since this is a preseason tournament, we want the schools to field in all of their players. First set choice of the coach for the six players, the second set will be the second six. The rules of that format will be discussed with the teams during the technical meeting. I mentioned that the format would not be too intensive so as to give the teams ample time to recover after each game and focus on their academics,” said Laurel.
“We are definitely inclusive, we want to have everyone join. This will promote the sport from the grassroots, collegiate.”
Shakey’s Super League will implement a video challenge starting in the quarterfinal round.
Besides the preseason for the UAAP and NCAA teams, a National Invitational Tournament featuring 12 grassroots-based squads competing to earn the right to represent the country’s 17 Administrative Regions and Metro Manila will follow in February next year.