The country’s first-ever volleyball Champions League kicks off with the women’s tournament on Saturday (November 20) followed by the men’s contest a week after at the Aquamarine Recreational Center Gym in Lipa City, Batangas.

The Champions League is the only national sports association-organized league during the COVID-19 pandemic outside of the professional basketball tournaments.

Six clubs are competing in the six-day, single-round robin women’s side that will be staged in a bubble setup, according to the organizing Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF).

PetroGazz will test the mettle of Baguio City at 10 a.m., while F2 Logistics will take on California Precision Sports at 1:30 p.m.

Chery Tiggo and Tuguegarao Perlas Spikers cap the opening day tripleheader at 4 p.m.

There will be three games every day until November 25. The team with the most number of victories will claim the bragging rights as the first-ever title holders in the Champions League.

“This is the first time that the country is staging its Champions League, which is a staple among members of the International Volleyball Federation or FIVB,” PNVF Ramon “Tats” Suzara said. “And we’re glad that health protocols have eased and we have a very cooperative local government unit in Lipa City.”

The men’s Champions League will start on November 29 with a three-match schedule featuring Go for Gold-Air Force against VNS, Sabong International Spikers against MRT-Negros and Global Remit against Team Dasma Monarchs.

The men’s contest will use the same format as the women’s competition.

The bulk of the PNVF delegation entered the bubble on Wednesday (November 17) morning, while the teams will arrive in batches starting on Thursday afternoon.

All participants—players, coaches, team managers, officials, media and other personnel—are fully vaccinated and were made to undergo PCR tests before entering the bubble. Everyone will also be Antigen tested before entering the bubble.

The PNVF Champions League has Rebisco, Top Speed, 1Pacman Partylist, Pitmaster Foundation Inc., Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine Olympic Committee as platinum sponsors and F2 Logistics, PLDT, MVP Sports Foundation, Asics, Mikasa, BCDA, Philippine Red Cross, Puso Pilipinas and Lipa City as gold sponsors.

The games will be streamed over iWantTFC for local and international audiences, and Smart Sports Facebook pages and YouTube channels.

Details on the Champions League are also available at the PNVF official website

The Champions League Most Valuable Player, as well as members of the Dream Team—top two outside hitters and two middle blockers, one opposite spiker, one setter and one libero—will be named after the tournament.

With the short tournament, every point and set point matters.

In case of a tie, the first tiebreaker will be the most points gained—teams will be ranked by the most points gained per match, with the winner via three or four sets will gain three points, winner via five sets will get two points, loser via five sets will grab one point and loser via three or four sets will get zero.

If teams remain tied after the first rule is applied, the set quotient system will be the decider—if two or more teams are tied on the number of points gained, they will be ranked by the quotient resulting from the division of the number of all sets won by the number of all sets lost.

Points quotient, on the other hand, will be used if the tie persists—teams will be ranked by the quotient resulting from the division of all points scored by the total points lost during all sets.

If still there are ties, they will be broken based on the team that won the match in the round-robin phase between the tied teams. When the tie in point quotient is among three or more teams, the teams are ranked taking into consideration only the matches involving the teams in question.

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