STA. Lucia is taking a leave of absence from the Premier Volleyball League’s 2022 season.
Team manager Buddy Encarnado bared to Spin.ph that the Lady Realtors are taking a break due to the uncertainty in the pandemic.
“We are taking a leave of absence for this year. Number one, the uncertainty of the current situation. Actually last December pa yan we’re trying to plan already thinking that Covid was saying its last goodbye. Only to be surprised again na more than ever it came back that the spreading is so much, surpassing last year’s record,” Encarnado said.
“Siyempre yung No. 1 concern namin is yung safety nung aming players is always on top of our sports program. We cannot be a party to a situation knowing there is no certainty. We cannot play with the lives of our players.”
With the team on leave, Mika Reyes, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, MJ Phillips, Dell Palomata, Jovie Prado, Jonah Sabete, Djanel Cheng and Bang Pineda have to find new teams.
Glaudine Troncoso found a new home as part of Cignal’s five new signings announced on Thursday evening.
Sta. Lucia head coach Edgar Barroga, hired September last year to replace Eddieson Orcullo, won’t have a chance to call the shots for the team.
It was his second team to take a leave of absence after Unlimited Athletes Club pulled out ahead of last year’s PVL bubble.
“Siyempre nobody wants it. Actually ako, I don’t like it. But it is something that must be done to ensure the safety of everyone. Kung pera lang walang problema but when you play with the lives of these young ladies that is too much to bare. Ayoko namang medyo party tayo sa ganoon knowing na ang situation natin is uncertain,” Encarnado said.
“It’s so hard trying to get the best out of the very abnormal situation. Not to mention, while you do this you are also worrying about the economic impact on the company. I guess the scenario is not good for a normal sports program.”
Sta. Lucia entered the volleyball scene in 2017 in the Philippine Superliga, where its best finish was fifth place in the 2018 Grand Prix.
The Lady Realtors moved to the PVL March last year and joined the Ilocos Norte bubble from July to August, finishing with a 5-4 record.
Sta. Lucia was also scheduled to participate in the Philippine National Volleyball Federation Champions League last November in Lipa, Batangas but pulled out due to the International Transfer Certificate issue of Filipino-American spiker Phillips.
“Rest assured that we will back. Ang amin lang is let us just try to see what will be the total scenario or the more definitive situation for 2022,” he said. “Madaling bumalik. Wait and see muna tayo. One step backward kami, two steps forward later on or even three steps forward.”
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