New volley tilt gets under way

Grassroots volleyball got a big boost following the formation of the Shakey’s Super League featuring the country’s top schools and universities.

Athletics Events and Sports chairman and chief executive officer Philip Ella Juico on Tuesday said the formation of the SSVL will help teams prepare for their respective collegiate tournaments.

All teams of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, led by Season 97 champion College of Saint Benilde and runner-up Arellano University, will be joined by teams from the University Athletic Association of the Philippines led by Season 84 champion National University and runner-up De La Salle University while Adamson University and University of the Philippines have yet to formalize their respective commitments.

“We exchanged ideas with Shakey’s management and we agreed to focus on strengthening the grassroots by emphasizing the collegiate scene first,” said Juico, a distinguished sports executive being a former chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission and chairman emeritus of the Philippine Athletic Track and Field Association.

Together with ACES president Adrian Laurel, Juico forged a partnership with Shakey’s Pizza Ventures, Inc. for the formation of the SSVL.

The SSL will also be Shakey’s second involvement in the sport as it was also the title sponsor of another volleyball league until 2016.

“The SSL is a reaffirmation of Shakey’s authentic commitment to grassroots and collegiate volleyball,” said SPAVI president Vic Gregorio, adding that their corporate social responsibility is aligned fully behind youth development and nation building.

“Grassroots development is an important advocacy we have because it aligns with our values.”

NU athletic director Ottie Camangian said having the SSVL around will help them maintain their peak condition while giving them a chance to scout their foes for the UAAP.

“It is very important to have an experience prior to the main event to gauge how far they have come,” Camangian, who spearheaded the Lady Bulldogs to a sweep of Season 84 of the UAAP, said.

“This league will be a very big help for UAAP and NCAA schools.”

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