PSL: More than pride at stake

The Philippine Superliga Collegiate Grand Slam will not just be a battle for pride and glory among the country’s best and brightest young stars.

It will also serve as a battleground where their talent is exposed and will groom them for the next phase of their respective athletic careers.

University of the Philippines (UP) head coach Godfrey Okumu said he will deploy his rookies and other young players when the inaugural edition of this inter-collegiate tournament unwraps on Nov. 3.

Okumu, who is eager to lead the Lady Maroons back to the Final Four of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP), said seeing action in the CGS would be a big boost to their preparation.

“My team is composed of very young rookie and veteran members. So, this tournament will help us get the exposure we need,” he said.

“I believe that my team will learn again how to deal with losses and wins every game. So to me, this tournament can help us grow, especially our young players.”

Far Eastern University (FEU) coach Rey Diaz agrees and called the CGS as a good chance for his player to get a taste of the PSL brand of competition.

“We treat it as a blessing. This is such a big blessing to the players,” Diaz said.

“We’re expecting our players to gain a lot of exposure and raise their level of competition here in the PSL.”

PSL vice president Ian Laurel said the goal of the CGS is to help in the development of grassroots volleyball by giving collegiate players a chance to see action in a very competitive setting.

In fact, CGS will be employing PSL rules and coaches will be allowed to use the video challenge and tablet systems during actual competition.

The league is also dangling an all-expense paid international training to the team to emerge as the champion of this tourney bankrolled by Isuzu, Sogo, Senoh, Asics, Mikasa, Mueller, UCPB Gen, Bizooku with ESPN5, Hyper HD and Aksyon TV as broadcast partners.

“Since these teams are preparing for their big tournaments, we might as well give incentives for their training camp, most likely in Thailand for seven to 10 days,” Laurel said.

“With this kind of incentive package, we expect everybody to go all out and fight for the crown.”

Aside from UP and FEU, also seeing action in this weekly encounter are De La Salle-Dasmarinas, University of Santo Tomas, University of the East and Colegio San Agustin.