THE Games and Amusements Board (GAB) approved the request and cleared the PLDT Home Fibr 14-day bubble camp at Splendido Hotel in Alfonso, Tagaytay.
The camp actually started last May 10 and will end on the 22nd.
Power Hitters head coach Roger Gorayeb said the camp is crucial for team build-up in time for the opening of the inaugural open Conference of the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) – as a professional league.
The group were able to hold practice at Paco Arena in Manila City for two days before NCR-plus was put under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).
“Malaking bagay ito kasi matagal na kaming hindi nag-prapractice. Nag-practice na nga kami, dalawang araw nga lang dahil nag ECQ,” lamented Gorayeb, the only triple crown champion coach in V-League history.
“Kaya nag-worry ako kasi yung ibang team nag-start na. Mayroon sa Subic at sa Clark. Nag-push talaga ako kay Sir Bajjie (Del Rosario, PLDT team manager) kasi naiiwan na tayo,” he continued as Creamline and Choco Mucho have been in a training bubble in Clark since April 27.
In the Splendido bubble are PLDT’s new recruits Rhea Dimaculangan, Isa Molde, Marist Layug, Eli Soyud, Chin Basas, Yeye Gabarda, and Nieza Viray.
Completing the team are holdovers Shola Alvarez, Jorelle Singh, Aiko Urdas, Joyce Sta. Rita, Vira Guillema, Kath Villegas, and Alyssa Eroa.
Though the players are in shape, Gorayeb lamented that the Power Hitters are still in the midst of shaking off some rust after a year-long layoff.
“Kasi halos talagang isang taon na na walang ensayo. True enough, kondisyon yung katawan nila dahil nag-Zoom training naman kami pero yung skills, hirap mag-service at receive. Kaya sana maayos namin ito dahil hanggang next week kami dito,” said Gorayeb, who is joined by assistant coaches Clint Malazo and Ariel Dela Cruz.
For GAB chairman Baham Mitra, the training bubbles of PLDT and the Rebisco group should serve as an inspiration for the other PVL teams to find a local government host in low-risk areas so that they could also resume their prep for the looming season.
“Properly coordinated yan. Binibiro ko nga sila, I guess you guys must come out with pictures kasi yung other teams, wait-and-see pa rin,” quipped Mitra.
“Sila they fully complied. Nandiyan yung LGU clearance din nila, health protocols, plus nag-inspection na ng venue. So, since nagumpisa na yung PLDT team at Rebisco, puwede na rin yung iba. Sundan natin yung example nila na maaga pa, naka-request na at nagpa-inspect para makapag-ensayo na tayo.”