A decade on, the country’s domestic volleyball league has grown bigger with the addition of four new teams. The Proliga will open its 10th season in Jakarta on Friday, with two new clubs each debuting in the men’s and women’s divisions.
Electric PLN of Jakarta and Semarang Bank Jateng are the newcomers on the men’s side, while West Java’s Bandung Alko and East Kalimanta’s Bontang LNG Badak will be part of the women’s division, organizers announced on Wednesday.
With 14 teams, the Proliga establishes a record number of participants in its 10-year history.
LNG will be the first club from Kalimantan to play in the Proliga.
Despite entering its maiden season, Electric coach Viktor Laiyan said he was setting the bar high for his club.
“Our initial target is to qualify for the Final Four this season,” said Viktor, who led Electric to the women’s title in 2009 and a runner-up finish last season.
Reaching that goal doesn’t look far-fetched for Viktor, whose squad will be stacked with national team players. “With Indonesia players in our club, I think we can achieve our target,” he said.
Electric will open its campaign against Jakarta’s Sananta at Gelora Bung Karno Basketball Hall on Friday.
After the Jakarta series, scheduled to run until Sunday, the league will move to Gresik, East Java, on Feb. 25-27; Yogyakarta (March 4-6); Semarang (March 11-13); Bandung (April 1-3); Surabaya (April 8-10); Solo, Central Java (April 15-17); and Bontang (April 22-24). The Grand Final will be held in Jakarta on May 22.
This season will also mark the final year of the Proliga’s sponsorship deal with cigarette brand Sampoerna Hijau, which has backed the league since the inaugural 2002 season.
2011 Proliga Teams
Men’s: BNI 46 (Jakarta), Electric PLN (Jakarta), Palembang Bank Sumsel Babel (South Sumatra), Sananta (Jakarta), Semarang Bank Jateng (Cetral Java), Surabaya Samator (East Java), Yuso Gunadarma (Yogyakarta)
Women’s: Bandung Alko (West Java), BNI 46 (Jakarta), Bontang LNG Badak (East Kalimantan), Electric PLN (Jakarta), Gresik Petrokimia (East Java), TNI AU (Jakarta), Popsivo Polwan (Jakarta)