It was a day before Christmas when Sta. Lucia management called for a team meeting.
Instead of receiving some good news, the Lady Realtors were informed that they will not be fielded for the 2022 Premier Volleyball League season.
Safe to say, Mika Reyes and the rest of the team did not expect it.
“Mostly shocked because we didn’t really see it coming,” admitted Reyes, who signed with the team last January 22.
Team manager Buddy Encarnado cited the ongoing pandemic as the reason why the team is taking a hiatus from volleyball.
It’s a reason the 27-year-old Reyes understands, learning to expect the unexpected with the current climate.
“We all understand that we’re living in a different world now and each person, each business, each industry have different ways of coping with the pandemic,” she shared. “So we fully understand and respect yung management’s decision.
“Nakakalungkot? Oo but this is the reality now, maraming uncertainties. I just wish them well in everything kasi they took care of us the whole time I was with them “
It did not take long for the four-time Philippine Superliga Best Middle Blocker to find a home, signing with PLDT Home Fibr.
It’s her fifth club team in a span of seven years after previously playing for Meralco, F2 Logistics, Petron, and Sta. Lucia.
“Siguro from all the years that I’ve been with different teams, adapting to change has been something na natutunan ko na talaga and yung isa sa nagpapa-excite sa akin ay yung mga makakasama ko dito sa team, a chunk of it are people I’m close with,” said Reyes as she gets to reunite with high school friend Jessy De Leon, Petron teammate Rhea Dimaculangan, and Sta. Lucia pals Dell Palomata and Jovie Prado.
“So that really helps a lot na may mga sobrang kilala na ako na mga makakasama ko. Extra comfortability na din ba.
“New team, fresh start pero same goal pa rin naman kahit san ako magpunta, to learn as much as I can and be able to contribute in any way I can.”
Other ex-Lady Realtors have also found a new home as well. MJ Phillips, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, and Bang Pineda are now with Petro Gazz while Glaudine Troncoso is with Cignal.
Both Sta. Lucia and PLDT were not able to make the 2021 Open Conference’s final four with the Lady Realtors being just a full game from taking a semis slot.
And with PLDT, she is hoping that this will be it. But of course, there’s a lot of work to be done as the High Speed Hitters signed 11 new players and a new coach in George Pascua.
“Siyempre gusto ko mag-aim high, but as always minamanage ko naman expectations ko. I have yet to spend time with the team, and compared to regular conferences pre-pandemic, mas marami din talagang adversities na kailangang harapin ngayon so more than playing the game,” opined Reyes, who returns to wearing the no. 3 jersey that brought her success in La Salle and in Petron.
“It’s really the character of the team na ibi-build at susubukin come the PVL season.”