BACARRA, ILOCOS NORTE — Sta. Lucia sported a familiar look against PLDT here at the PCV Socio-Civic Cultural Center.
And it was a refreshing sight, especially for the eyes of basketball fans.
Two games into the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference, the Lady Realtors brought back the iconic jersey of the Sta. Lucia Realtors dating back to their days in the Philippine Basketball Association.
The man behind the change, of course, is none other than team manager Buddy Encarnado. Encarnado was the company’s representative to the PBA Board of Governors from 1993-2010.
Encarnado turned 71 on Monday.
“Special shoutout kay sir Buddy Encarnado ‘yung team manager namin. Birthday niya rin ngayon. So gusto niya lang rin siguro na maging united talaga ‘yung Sta. Lucia, kaya binalik talaga niya ‘yung logo from the basketball team now to the volleyball team,” said Sta. Lucia star Mika Reyes, moments after their 25-18, 25-15, 25-21, sweep of PLDT.
“So, I think maganda naman siyang start kasi bago rin namin siyang team manager.”
The 5-foot-11 national team mainstay also shared that Encarnado, prior to the PVL season, already reminded the volleyball squad of the achievements of his basketball team.
And for Reyes and the rest of the Lady Realtors, it’s just his way of inspiring the squad before the start of the country’s first-ever professional volleyball league.
“Before mag-start ‘yung liga, nagkaroon kami ng change sa team manager. Kaya I think maganda naman ‘yung pasok ni sir Buddy. Lagi niya rin kaming nire-remind sa mga achievements ng basketball team niya before, and maganda rin siyang inspiration for us,” bared Reyes.
Meanwhile, for coach Eddieson Orcullo, who watched the Sta. Lucia basketball team back in the day, it’s just a huge honor to be wearing the same jersey and represent the same organization now in volleyball.
“Sa akin, honestly nung ngayong tinanong mo ‘yun parang nangilabot ako eh. Bata pa tayo pare-pareho noon nung panahon na ito ‘yung logo ng Sta. Lucia. Ngayon na nasa amin na ulit, nasuot namin, na ako ‘yung nakaupo… Talagang I’m blessed na magkaroon ako ng logo na ganito sa team namin ngayon,” said Orcullo, who was a fan of Dennis Espino.
“Dati nasa TV sila, ako ;yung nanonood. Tapos ngayon, ‘di ba? Blessed kami na kami naman ngayon.”
Sta. Lucia, after a loss to Creamline during its debut, entered the win column to even their slate.
The Lady Realtors will next face the Chery Tiggo Crossovers at 3:00 PM on Wednesday