Prioritizing health, Sta. Lucia takes leave of absence from PVL
MANILA, Philippines—Sta. Lucia will return to the Premier Volleyball League once the COVID-19 situation in the Philippines improves, team manager Buddy Encarnado said Saturday.
The Lady Realtors took a leave of absence for the PVL’s 2022 season due to worsening pandemic with the team’s management electing to prioritize the players’ safety over anything else.
Encarnado said that the team could return in 2023 or even in late 2022 if the number of infections drop.
“On top of our priority is the health and safety of our players,” said Encarnado. “We are sure to be back when the situation stabilizes perhaps by 2023 or even earlier.”
As the team goes on leave, its players including Mika Reyes, MJ Phillips, Bang Pineda, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Jovie Prado, Dell Palomata, Djanel Cheng, and Jonah Sabete will have to look for new clubs to play for.
Encarnado said that pulling the team out of the 2022 season was a difficult decision but it had to be made due to the uncertainty of the pandemic.
The Philippines logged 26,458 infections on Saturday, marking another day of spike in the number of infections.
“It was a hard decision management had to make,” said Encarnado. “The ongoing worsening of the pandemic situation has brought about so many uncertainties.”
The PVL was planning on holding its next conference in another bubble set-up in February.
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