MANILA, Philippines – The English Premier League Volleyball League (PVL) is introducing a video challenge system in the return of the Boost Conference for the first time in three years.
PVL President Ricky Palou said it has ordered equipment for the challenge system but is likely to arrive on Saturday for the opening at the Santa Rosa Sports Complex in Laguna.
“We ordered and paid for the video challenge,” Palou said during Wednesday’s press launch at Discovery Suites. “I think it was late July or August but they still haven’t delivered. I don’t know, for what reason, they said the camera wasn’t ready but the order got there, they promised to deliver and we’re still waiting for it.”
“But we’re definitely going to have a video challenge, and we just hope that it gets here in time for the opening,” he added.
Sports Vision Marketing Director Fred Fateh said the device is likely to reach customers on October 25.
“We will miss a few games but it will be here,” Fateh said. “We are sure, one hundred percent, that there will be a video challenge. Has it been delayed? Maybe. Most likely about a week or maybe 10 days late. The main story is the global shortage of semiconductors. The last news I received was that it would be shipped on Wednesday. We asked for it to be shipped on the fastest (shipping company) available. I anticipate it will take three to four days to get here, three to four days to clear customs.”
PLDT and United Auctioneers-Army begin their Consolidated Conference return at 2:30pm on Saturday, while Akari makes his debut against Cignal at 5:30pm
Power Chargers head coach Jorge Souza de Brito says his youth team is far from a favorite, but they are eager to surprise in their first professional tournament.
“We are still not the favorites, not even the national team and even the Akari club. But I guess in the future we can. Now, I am very honored to be participating in this PVL tournament,” said the Brazilian coach, who is also calling the spearheads for the Philippine women’s volleyball team. “It is a challenge for us and for the players. We will do our best and try to make a surprise.”
Akari is marching former Dominican Republic national team star Prisilla Rivera against Cignal, led by Tai Bierria and locals Rachel Anne Daquis, Ces Molina and Gel Cayuna.
All eyes were on the past two conference champions, Creamline and F2 Logistics, who missed the previous Invitational.
Choco Mucho head coach Oliver Almadro believes Creamline and F2 Logistics are the teams to beat this congress.
“The team to beat was, of course, the previous grand slam champion, Creamline, for their international exposure and intact roster. The return of F2. We’re going to have a very competitive tournament here. All teams are achieving high form that is due to their imports. I also say with my imports, competition is happening so we are learning from them too,” said Almadro, who is leaning towards Uzbek-Azerbaijan Odina Aliyeva.
“Considering it’s been many years without going abroad, this is the first time there is a high-level tournament. Hope the best for our team and health for all the teams,” he added.
Cargo Movers who are bringing back Lindsay Stalzer and Kalei Mauback into action on October 11 against Chery Tiggo at PhilSports Arena at 2:30pm. Defending champion Petro Gazz is also starting his bid to maintain the title after three years against Choco Mucho at 5:30pm.
“It has been three years since the last Intensification Conference. We had three different teams after we won the crown. But we will still try to win the championship,” new team head coach Petro Gazz Rald Ricafort said in the Philippines during the Lindsey Vander Weide import parade with Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, MJ Phillips, Myla Pablo, Grethcel Soltones and Chie Saet.
Creamline, which has represented the nation previously at the AVC Cup and Asean Grand Prix, kicks off the big showdown against the PLDT on Thursday at the same venue in Pasig City with Yeliz Basa paired with Alyssa Valdez, Tots Carlos and Jema Galanza ahead of F2 Logistics and Choco Mucho clash in an early game.
The top four teams after the knockout round on November 19 will advance to the semi-finals, competing in another round-robin format.
The top two teams of the semi-finals will clash for the first time in the greatest final series in tournament history, while the third and fourth seeded teams will battle it out in a series of bronze matches.
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