RANGED against the country’s best in 3×3 basketball, the Pasig Sta. Lucia Realtors’ outstanding third place finish in the recently-concluded Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3 President’s Cup was something to carry over in the next season.
With all of the players making their debut in the now-pro 3×3 league, the Realtors gave powerhouses Zamboanga City-Family’s Brand Sardines and Uling Roasters Butuan City everything to handle in the five-legged tournament held at the INSPIRE Sports Academy in Calamba, Laguna.
“Formed barely weeks before the competition, our four gallant gentlemen went into battle with barely no 3×3 experience and chemistry amongst themselves. Confined to a ‘bubble’, they risked their health and sacrificed their time away from their families to answer the call of duty and their passion,” said Pasig Sta. Lucia general manager Buddy Encarnado through the club’s Facebook account.
“In the end of a physically and exhausting conclusion, I could only marvel at the way they played – full of grit and resolve, resolute in purpose and never giving up,” he added.
Handled by coaches Bong de la Cruz and Ryan de Ramos, the Realtors are composed of Felix Apreku, Jeckster Apinan, Cedrick Ablaza and Jhaps Bautista.
After stumbling to seventh place in the opening leg, Pasig Sta. Lucia showed improvement in the next edition with a fourth place finish.
The Realtors finally made it to the Finals in the third leg, finishing second to Butuan City. Although it failed to win the leg crown, Pasig Sta. Lucia pulled off the biggest upset in the bubble, eliminating a Zamboanga City team bannered by the members of the national 3×3 pool.
The Realtors made it to the quarterfinals in the penultimate leg before ending their maiden season with the bronze medal, but not without
giving a gallant stand against Zamboanga City in the Final Four of the Grand Finals.
“A bronze medal finish by the Pasig Sta. Lucia Realtors is something to be proud of, considering the circumstances of the present situation and the difficulty of the playing conditions. They epitomized the true warrior spirit of our team,” said Encarnado.