The Perlas Spikers have ended their month-long Covid-19 disrupted bubble training here and motored to Laoag City in Ilocos Norte today awaiting the start of the first Philippine National Volleyball Federation backed Philippine Volleyball League that starts this Saturday.
The team wrapped up their training here Monday after more than 10-days of isolation and quarantine when half of the 16 members contracted the virus, one of the three clusterings identified by Baguio mayor Benjamin Magalong during a special press conference last June 25.
The other two being are policemen undergoing the police officers training course at the Baguio Teachers Camp and the 50 call center agents of a business process outsourcing at Camp John Hay.
Perlas spokesperson AJ Perartilla said eight of their members contracted the virus during their training at the Saint Vincent gym which they rented for their bubble training that started last June 1 as they try to build a competitive form in time for the PVL opening in Laoag City.
She said that the eight exhibited non to mild symptoms that prompted isolation at a facility here, while those who tested negative stayed at the apartments they rented for their supposed month-long training.
“We just need to get to Laoag by the 12th or 13th,” she earlier told RNG Luzon, while adding that they were here just to train and no time to go sight-seeing.
“It is so cold, so we rather stay home after training. And the girls are really tired after every training which we did double time to catch up with the time we were inactive. And there are new players who need to get in synch with our older players. We are achieving this gelling when some of the girls tested positive,” she said in the vernacular.
“It is (just) unfortunate that this happened but we followed and still are following the health protocols set by the city and the GAB (Games and Amusement Board),” Perartilla added.
The team that include former University of the Philippines Nicole Anne Tiamzon arrived in Baguio last June 1 for a one month bubble training at the Saint Vincent Gym as they prepare for the PVL bubble in Laoag, Ilocos Norte on July 12.
The team chose Baguio “because they have all the facilities available for us to prepare properly for the upcoming conference,” Perlas owner Charo Soriano was quoted as saying in a published news earlier.
Prior their arrival, the members of the team underwent RT-PCR tests and awaited the result before they started their training.
The team also include former UP star Katherine Bersola and Jhoana Louisse Maraguinot, former member of the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles, winner of the University Athletics Association of the Philippines Season 77 volleyball title.
Another team, F2 Logistics eyed Baguio for its bubble training and wanted to use the University of the Philippines Baguio gym but the request was denied.
F2 Logistics pulled out of the PVL bubble citing several reasons but not out of the season as the number of teams dwindled to only 10.
Meanwhile, the national squad that include stars Abigail Marano, Dindin Santiago – Manabat and Baguio lass Majoy Baron will also be going to Ilocos Norte to start their bubble training. Marano and Baron are from F2.
The national indoor volleyball teams, who will bubble train at the Centennial Arena in the capital town of Laoag, are expected to also see action in the Asian Senior Championships on August 29 to September 5 in Pampanga for the women and September 12 to 19 in Chiba, Japan for the men.
The players are still with their professional league teams and are undergoing bubble training in different provinces.
Marano denied the report that some of the national team members contracted Covid-19 while in Baguio since they will not be training in the Pine City.