MANILA, Philippines — As the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) was gearing up for a grand start to its first professional season, top club Motolite had a change of heart, deciding to take a leave of absence due to the global health crisis.
The Philippine Batteries, Inc.-owned team joined the PVL in 2018 on a squad built around the core of the Ateneo Lady Eagles then had a facelift in 2019 with a team headed by former National U star Myla Pablo. It placed fourth in the 2019 Open Conference after failing to make it past the elims in the Reinforced Conference.
The country’s premier volley league scrapped its 2020 season due to pandemic.
And amid the uncertainties caused by COVID-19, the PBI apparently deemed it prudent to take a break, leaving the players in a dilemma as to which team to play for in the keenly awaited resumption of the league.
Sports Vision president Ricky Palou said he hasn’t been informed by Motolite management of its decision but remained confident of putting up an eight-team roster or even 10 squads for their inaugural pro season.
“I haven’t been informed about the leave of absence of Motolite. But I’ve heard about this from other people. I’d rather not comment on this issue until I hear from the Motolite organization,” said Palou.
“But we are still looking at eight teams for our bubble tournament with a strong possibility of even 10 teams,” he added.
Sources, however, said the players could ask for a buyout if another team from the PVL would want to sign them up.
Aside from Pablo, other Motolite stalwarts are former UP stars Isa Molde and Tots Carlos, ace playmaker Iris Tolenada, Ayel Estranero, Fhen Emnas, Grazielle Bombita and Mela Tunay.