MANILA, Philippines — Manny Pacquiao has entered the Philippine volleyball scene with the launching of the Maharlika Pilipinas Volleyball Association (MPVA) to continue discovering talents and providing an avenue to the athletes.
Ten teams from different cities will clash in the inaugural MPVA, the newest club women’s volleyball league, in a home-and-away format from October to December.
After the successful staging in the MPBL for the past five years, the eight-division world boxing champion hopes to expand his sports program to volleyball through the MPVA.
“I’m hoping this MPVA will become institution league in our country when it comes to volleyball,”said Pacquiao, the founding chairman of the league, in the press conference on Friday.
“I’m hoping this inaugural season of MPVA will be as unforgettable as the MPBL. We’ve been receiving support from every corner of the country. I’m hoping you will also support the MPVA,” he added.
Nasipit Lady Spikers from Agusan Del Norte, Blue Hawks, Marikina, Caloocan, Rizal, Biñan, Manila Tornadoes, Bulacan, Bacoor, and Quezon City will compete in the first MPVA tournament, which will have a single round-robin elimination.
The teams are required to have at least three homegrown talents and can sign a maximum of five ex-professional players but only three ex-pros can play at the same time.
The quarterfinals, semifinals, and championship will be played in the best-of-three series. The league will implement a video challenge starting in the semis.
“I believe that volleyball can unite, inspire, create a lasting change…He (Pacquiao) has tirelessly worked to bring sports closer to our hearts, Filipinos. His dedication to making a difference through sports is a source of inspiration to all of us,” said the acting President and CEO of MPVA Emerson Oreta, who was with general counsel Atty. Glenn Gacal and director and legal counsel Atty. Victorina Calma.
“In alignment with Manny Pacquiao’s vision, together we’ll achieve greatness in volleyball, and beyond that, reaching Filipinos through the power of sports,” he added.
Pacquiao vows men’s division coming soon
Michael Tavera will be the MPVA commissioner with Venue Operations Director Allen Reyes and Director for Operations Ginio Panganiban, who are also organizing Shakey’s Super League.
Pacquiao said that the MPVA is just getting started as it will have a men’s division next year and a Juniors division.
“This isn’t just women’s, we will also have a men’s category next year. Just planning properly so we won’t have issues if everything happens at once,” the league founder said. “I received a lot of comments asking why there’s not men’s category. Don’t worry, it’s being played. It’s part of our plan to have both men’s and women’s divisions”
“We will also have a grassroots division for our youth. In the MPBL, we have a Jr. MPBL. We will have something like that later on. That’s our plan for the MPVA,” he added.
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