Mika Reyes made sure to embrace the significant change with her team Sta. Lucia Lady Realtors.
Reyes and the rest of the Lady Realtors showed up at the PVC Socio-Civic & Cultural Center in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte with a familiar look on their jerseys.
Gaining their first win in the PVL Open Conference, Reyes cited team manager Buddy Encarnado, who turned 71 on Monday, July 19, for lighting a fire in their hearts heading into the season.
It was made extra special thanks to the win as Reyes led Sta. Lucia against the PLDT Home Fibr Power Hitters, 25-18, 25-19, 25-21.
“Special shoutout kay sir Buddy Encarnado, ‘yong team manager namin birthday niya rin today,” said Reyes. “Gusto lang din niya talaga maging united yung Sta. Lucia kaya binalik talaga niya yung logo from yung the basketball team to volleyball. I think maganda din yung start kasi bago rin namin siyang team manager.”
Encarnado had served the team manager of the Sta. Lucia Realtors in the PBA back then, guiding the squad to their first Philippine cup championship in the 2007-08 season.
At that time, Kelly Williams was the Conference Most Valuable Player while Dennis Espino earned the Finals MVP honor.
And Encarnado’s gentle reminders helped the Lady Realtors of today to perform well this time in the volleyball court.
“Before nag-start ‘yong liga nagkaroon din kami ng change ng team manager kaya I think naging maganda rin yung pasok ni sir (Buddy) kasi lagi niya rin kami nire-remind sa achievements ng basketball team niya before and maganda rin yung inspiration for us,” added the 27-year-old Reyes, who scored 11 points for the Lady Realtors.