THEY'RE more than mere numbers, and there's more to them than meets the eye.
From important dates in their lives to lucky numbers to a happy coincidence, there's usually a compelling story behind the numbers your favorite players wear on their backs.
And more often that not, these stories will either surprise you or make you feel closer to your sports heroes.
Here's No. 23 of our Jersey Story Series:
LA Salle star Kim Dy says wearing no. 11 on her jersey wasn’t her first choice, but with the way things panned out, it seems the number perfectly chose her.
The fourth-year opposite spiker revealed that it was more of a chance than a choice to wear the No. 11. She happily recalled that she was then a rookie who had to give way to a senior player in Ara Galang who already had her desired number.
“Actually gusto ko ng No. 8 kasi ‘yun ang jersey ko sa high school, pero andoon pa si Ate Ara. Syempre hindi ko naman makukuha ‘yun kay Ate Ara, so among the numbers that were given is kung ano ang available,” she said.
She settled for the no. 11 as the last player who donned the No. 11 jersey for La Salle was one of her idols, Cha Cruz.
Coincidentally, in Season 73 when Cruz was the Finals MVP, Dy was also the MVP in the UAAP girls’ division when she played for La Salle-Zobel.
“So ayun, parang na-draw lang ako sa No. 11 eh si Ate Cha No. 11 eh idol ko siya,” she said.
Dy knew that wearing the same jersey number as the former La Salle star was a tough act to follow. The pressure mounted more in her first two years as the Lady Spikers could not overcome an Alyssa Valdez-led Ateneo Lady Eagles team.
But Dy simple didn’t give up and on her third year, she proved herself worth and aptly followed the footsteps of the one who wore jersey no. 11 before her.
Along with her ate Ara, Kim Fajardo, Mika Reyes, Majoy Baron and Dawn Macandili, the Lady Spikers reclaimed their lost glory and turned back the Lady Eagles and spoiled Valdez’s chance to graduate as a champion.
Dy ended up as the biggest star of them all in winning the Finals MVP award, the same honor Cruz had five seasons prior to her feat.
“As in noong sinabi sa akin ang mga numbers na available No. 11 na agad ang naisip ko,” she recalled. “So yeah, I guess I kind of gave it a new meaning and there’s reason that it came to me.”