New league 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 chairperson and chief executive officer Philip Ella Juico yesterday said the formation of the SSL 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.

The league will run from 22 September to 28 November and will be aired at Plus Network and TikTok.

“We exchanged ideas with the Shakey’s management and we agreed to focus on strengthening the grassroots by emphasizing on the collegiate scene first,” said Juico, a distinguished sports executive for being the chairperson 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 SSL.

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.”

“The new league will feature two conferences, starting with the Collegiate Pre-Season Event set next month and with the top teams of the NCAA and the UAAP participating,” Juico added.

A National Invitational Tournament featuring 12 grassroots-based squads competing to earn the right to represent the country’s 17 Administrative Regions and Metro Manila will follow in February next year.

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