MANILA -- Three Visayan teams joined the seventh season of the Shakey’s V-League to give Big City spikers a run for their money this summer.

The tournament, which opens shop on April 11 at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan City, will have Cebu-based Southwestern University (SWU), University of San Jose-Recoletos, also from Cebu, and Bacolod’s University of St. La Salle in the first conference.

In fact, SWU, the reigning Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (CESAFI) women’s volley champion, will be taking the spot vacated by University of the Philippines, which decided to take a leave of absence to build up a stronger roster come second conference in July.

Moying Martelino, chairman of the organizing Sports Vision said the Visayan delegation will be included in the eliminations.

“What makes this conference exciting is that the Visayan teams will see action from the start unlike the previous years when they are seeded into the quarters, thus giving all the teams the chance to test their mettle,” Martelino said.

Playdates are set on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays starting at 2 p.m in a tournament sponsored by Shakey’s Pizza and backed by Mikasa.

Games will be shown on a delayed basis the following playdate on NBN 4 although matches can be viewed live on webcast at www.v-league.ph.

(Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)