Sta. Lucia Realty may look solid on paper, but it still has one important thing to work on before the Philippine Superliga (PSL) Grand Prix fires off on Feb. 17.
Head coach George Pascua admitted that they are still working on their chemistry, especially with reigning champion F2 Logistics and Petron marching with their nucleus intact.
The Cargo Movers may have lost collegiate stars Majoy Baron, Kianna Dy, Desiree Cheng and Dawn Macandili, but imports Jose Maria Perez and Kennedy Bryan will be back to make another run with veterans Cha Cruz, Aby Marano, Kim Fajardo and the returning Ara Galang.
The Blaze Spikers, on the same note, remain intact as they parade the core of Frances Molina, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Mika Reyes and Rhea Dimaculangan with Hillary Hurley, Yuri Fukuda and Lindsay Stalzer as reinforcements.
The Lady Realtors, meanwhile, is a young team still searching for identity.
They entered the league under Sammy Acaylar last year before his deputy, Michael Carino, took over in the PSL All-Filipino Conference.
Carino gave way for Jerry Yee in the Grand Prix, but the former University of the Philippines mentor bolted out to spearhead the formation of a new team that will see action in the rival Premier Volleyball League (PVL).
With Yee opting out, the Lady Realtors called on a prolific mentor who made history when he led Petron to a historic sweep of the Grand Prix three years ago – Pascua.
“Assuming the head coaching role (of Sta. Lucia) is a major challenge.”
“I’m here to instill a fighting mentality and a winning culture to a young club. I promise to do my best and rally the team to an impressive finish in the Grand Prix.”
Pascua has a reputation in local volleyball circuit as an ultimate glue guy.
He instilled that kind of mentality at Cignal where he led Daquis, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Honey Royse Tubino, Cherry Vivas, Jheck Dionela, Steph Mercado and Janine Marciano to the Invitational Conference crown last year.
That kind of chemistry is something he wants to instill at Sta. Lucia Realty.
He said they will have a team building this weekend and he is looking forward to know MJ Philips, Rebecca Rivera, Pam Lastimosa, Micmic Laborte, Rubie de Leon and Jonah Sabete up close and more personal.
“Of course, knowing them on the court is very different than knowing them personally.”
“That’s why I want to take advantage of our team building on Saturday. I want to know and be friends with my players. Volleyball is a team game and the friendship and unity off that you will develop with your teammates off the court will definitely translate into something positive on the court.”
Pascua added that their team is not yet complete and they are still looking for a pair of middle blockers.
Still, the Lady Realtors look dangerous.
And once they develop the chemistry and cohesiveness they are looking for, expect them to give other teams a serious run for their money.