With the UAAP women’s volleyball and Philippine Superliga taking the back seat after their conclusion, the Premiere Volleyball League remains the lone tournament to cater volleyball actions.
Both UAAP and PSL brought the sports at the center of spotlight in the previous months and spoiled volleyball aficionados with intense competition through live coverage and decent online streaming.
As both leagues took a breather, the Sports Vision-organized PVL is expected to continue the success of UAAP and PSL in bringing wild rallies, intense rivalries, and high-level of volleyball games.
But in an unexpected turn of events, PVL did not provide live coverage of the succeeding games after airing the opening matches last May 6, much to the dismay of Filipino fans.
A Matter of Involvement
The Philippine volleyball has achieved a big feat this year.
Looking at its current state, it looks like the the sports is not just about the stars nowadays but mostly about volleyball itself.
What brings us to this conclusion?
Take the UAAP for example, the championship featured new rivalry this year in DLSU and FEU, breaking the six year trend of Ateneo-La Salle Finals Showdown.
Despite the absence of the Lady Eagle, the series was still able to magnify almost 15,000 fans in the Smart Araneta Coliseum – a number that is still pretty massive even if it is lower than the usual 20,000 ADMU-DLSU crowd.
Meaning, the sports remains popular up to now even when stars like Jaja Santiago, Alyssa Valdez, Jia Morado, and Mika Reyes – who all have huge individual fan base- already bade goodbye to the league.
Fans want to watch their favorite volleyball stars. But more importantly, they crave for volleyball actions that could bring them up to their feet – something another sport called basketball has done in the past three decades.
In PSL, although lesser crowd trooped to the venues to witness a higher level of competition, the story line drove fans to become more interested about the sport.
The arrival of foreign imports, the emergence of local stars, the decision of previous UAAP stars to play anew, and the shattering of records – these made Filipino fans eager to see the sport.
They are amazed that a player can score 56 points in a match to which they are expecting to beat and wish they could be a part of a crowd that witness such historical feat.
That is the main reason now why they are into volleyball- they want to be involved.
And if not as part of the crowd, at least a part of the million viewers who could catch the games through television coverage.
And with PVL depriving the fans of live coverage, fans felt they were excluded and that they were not involved, which can cause them to lose lose their passion and interest for the sport and which can eventually kill the euphoria created by the success of UAAP and PSL.
As the lone volleyball tournament, the pressure is not equating or surpassing the level of competition its rival league PSL has delivered or drawing the same 15, 000 fans who watched the UAAP finals.
The pressure is about sustaining the good momentum of Philippine volleyball, steering it in the right directions, and keeping the upward trend the sports is currently enjoying.
This also presents a challenge to other tournamets that whoever is playing, whether they are star players or not, powerhouse squads or not, fans want to be involved so give them the access to their favorite sport.