PSL tweaks 2018 calendar to comply with FIVB, AVC schedules

In compliance with the new competition calendar of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) and the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC), the Philippine Superliga (PSL) will make significant changes in its own calendar for 2018.

From late October to mid-December, the most prestigious club league in the country will move its import-flavored Grand Prix as its season-opener from Feb. 17 to May 17, followed by the Challenge Cup beach volleyball tournament from May 26 to June 16.

The All-Filipino Conference will be held from July 28 to Nov. 15, but would take a break from Sept. 17 to 23 to give way for the 6th AVC Asian Cup for Women in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.

The Invitational Conference is set from November to December, followed by another beach volleyball tournament to cap the year.

Also calendared is the AVC Asian Women’s Club Championship from July 11 to 18 in Oskemen, Kazakhstan, where the league is set to send its All-Star team anew.

The calendar, however, would be subject to minor revisions depending on the actual implementation of the new international rules.

PSL president Ramon “Tats” Suzara said the league made a bold move of tweaking its calendar in compliance with those of the FIVB and the AVC, making it easier for the league to attract the world’s best foreign players for the Grand Prix as well as make their players available for international tournaments.

“The PSL is a staunch supporter of the plans and programs of the FIVB and the AVC,” said Suzara, who is also an FIVB member and the chairman of the powerful marketing and development committee of the AVC.

“We decided to tweak our calendar in compliance with the new international calendar. Since our Grand Prix is within the international transfer period, it would be easy for us to invite foreign players for the Grand Prix while making our players available for international competitions, too.”

Meanwhile, Sta. Lucia Realty guns for a crucial win to improve its ranking entering the quarterfinals of the Chooks to Go-PSL Grand Prix Thursday at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

The Lady Realtors collide with dangerous Generika-Ayala at 7 p.m. following the clash between Petron and Cocolife in the 4:15 p.m. first match of this prestigious club league bankrolled by Mikasa, Grand Sport, Senoh, Mueller, Island Rose, Cloudfone and UCPB Gen.

After posting a massive win over F2 Logistics over the weekend and another victory over Victoria Sports-UST late Tuesday, reigning champion Foton formally conquered the top spot in the team standing with a 7-1 mark.

Its reign, however, wouldn’t last long as close pursuers Petron and F2 Logistics are still on track of punching their seventh victory in the final two playdates of the single round eliminations of this tourney that also has Gerflor and Gold’s Gym as technical sponsors and ESPN5 as official broadcast partner.

Sta. Lucia, meanwhile, is tied with idle Iriga City in sixth spot with a 2-5 card, making it desperate for a victory that will improve its ranking and avoid facing the top seed in the sudden-death quarterfinal battle starting Dec. 5.