UAAP: Video challenge delayed, rituals return when Season 85 volleyball fires off
MANILA, Philippines — The UAAP men’s and women’s volleyball tournaments will have to wait longer for the implementation of the video challenge this season, but pre-pandemic rituals–including the traditional handshakes and change of courts–return amid eased restrictions when the league opens on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.
The league’s volleyball commissioner Mike Verano on Wednesday said that the video challenge system challenge will be out of commission for the entire first round of Season 85 due to availability issues.
“We’ll start with the challenge system in the second round. The reason for this is the availability of the actual system,” said Verano during the press conference on Wednesday. “There are four concurrent leagues and tournaments ongoing in the first quarter, and the UAAP is the last to have a season, so availability is the challenge.”
“But we will have it in the second round. There will be two challenges per set,” he added.
The UAAP implemented the challenge system in 2020 but the season was wiped out after three playdates due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Premier Volleyball League, Spiker’s Turf, and NCAA are using the video challenge in their ongoing tournaments.
Verano said the league also decided to ease the health and safety restrictions, bringing back the traditional high-fives and switching around of courts.
UAAP executive director Atty. Rebo Saguisag said the league is no longer requiring COVID-19 testing, barring any new restrictions from the local government unit.
“Regarding antigen testing or whatever kind of test, for as long as the LGU and/or the venue does not require, wala na,” Saguisag said. “The patron area will also now be open to the fans for a closer UAAP experience.”
Return of men’s volleyball
The men’s volleyball will also return after a three-year hiatus as two-time defending champion National University continues its unfinished title-retention bid against Ateneo on Saturday at MOA Arena at 4 p.m.
The Bulldogs coach Dante Alinsunurin will lean on his holdovers Joshua Retamar and Nico Almendras, following a successful preseason with titles in the Spikers’ Turf and V-League.
The men’s teams Adamson and University of the East will kick off the season at 10 a.m.
The NU Lady Bulldogs, who ended a 65-year title drought with a perfect 16-0 season last year, take on the Ateneo Blue Eagles at 2 p.m. to highlight the women’s volleyball opening day after the Lady Falcons-Lady Red Warriors game at 12 noon.