PVL to push through with third conference–with or without imports–despite PNVF recommendation
MANILA, Philippines —Premier Volleyball League president Ricky Palou assured there will be a third Conference this season despite Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF)’s recommendation to “refrain from contracting foreign guest players requiring to undergo the International Transfer Certificate.”
Palou said on Thursday the league will iron out the issue with the 11 teams and the PNVF, but the PVL will push through with the season-ending tournament–traditionally the import-laden Reinforced Conference–with or without imports.
“We discussed with the team managers and they’re going to go back with their principals, the owners of the clubs, and then get back to us. We need a couple of days. By next week we’ll know what the plans are but we definitely will have a third conference with or without the imports,” the PVL president said.
NATIONAL TEAM PERIOD
Inquirer sources on Thursday revealed that the PNVF wrote a letter to the PVL regarding its operation of the league without due authorization within what the FIVB calls the National Team period from May 16 to October 15, wherein national team competitions take precedence.
The PNVF, in the letter signed by president Tats Suzara’s letter to Palou dated June 24, cited Article 6.1.1.b of the FIVB Sports Regulations 2022, stating “National Leagues may operate during this time only subject to the approval of the FIVB.”
However, PNVF said that the league’s schedule and the ongoing conferences are being done during the National Team season “without due and express authorization.”
Among PNVF’s recommendations is to retrain “from contracting foreign quest players requiring to undergo the ITC procedure for 2023,” potentially compromising foreign hires for the Reinforced Conference.
It also added that “any requests originating from PVL member teams shall not be processed.”
PNVF also said that it has repeatedly reached out to the PVL–the country’s first pro volleyball league–since 2022 about synching its schedule to the FIVB sports calendar, as “means to comply with Ir-stipulated schedules”
The volleyball governing body also said the scheduling of the PVL has compromised the volleyball national team program.
“However, the conflict of the schedule remains even up to this season, with the interests of the National Team program ultimately being compromised. We continue to hope that the PVL will consider the alignment of schedule with FIVB regulations, in order to satisfy and serve all stakeholders of the sport,” the PNVF letter read.
The PVL has been lending its players to the national teams for the past tournaments as the All-Filipino Conference ended before the 32nd Southeast Asian Games with an all-pro team bannering the Philippine team composed of seven Creamline players.
In the recently-concluded AVC Challenge Cup in Indonesia, players from Akari and other clubs represented the country and finished in seventh place. The league’s Invitational Conference was also originally scheduled to open last June 6 but it moved to a later date due to the Asian tournament.
Palou, also a board member of the PNVF, is confident that issues will be resolved especially with representatives of the FIVB flying into the country for the hosting of Volleyball Nations League next week.
“Tats [Suzara] was saying there’s a letter from the FIVB saying we can proceed with this conference but they won’t issue ITC for the third conference or the Reinforced Conference. But I said, that’s something we can talk about since FIVB is coming here,” Palou said.
“I think everything can be resolved. We just have to sit down and [talk] about all the problems and issues and then come up with a decision.
“After the VNL, everything’s gonna be final because [members of the] FIVB are arriving so I think the idea of Tats is we should all sit down together and work out something.”
Palou added that the 11 teams–which is the biggest field yet in the PVL after the addition of three squads this season–are also not worried about the possibility of having no imports for the third conference.
“The teams are not [worried.] For them, with or without imports we’ll have a third conference e. They’re after the exposure. They really want a conference whether there are imports or not, I’m sure they will want to go on,” he said.