Despite some health issues, Sta. Lucia is still tipped to go all out when the Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference unwraps this weekend at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Head coach George Pascua said his top spiker in Filipino-American MJ Philips and Chin Basas are still nursing various injuries a few days before the season-ending conference of this prestigious women’s club bankrolled by Isuzu, Sogo, Senoh, Asics, Mikasa, Mueller, UCPB Gen and Bizooku with ESPN5, Aksyon and Hyper HD as broadcast partners.
Philips is suffering from Achilles tendon injury while Basas has yet to recover from her ear and shoulder injuries. Timetable for their recovery has yet to be announced as they are still undergoing therapy.
Still, the Lady Realtors vowed to come out fighting with veterans Michelle Laborte and Rubie de Leon leading a relatively young crew composed of Carlota Hernandez, Pam Lastimosa, Jeanette Villareal, Rebecca Rivera, Roselle Baliton, Jackie Estoquia and Jhoanna Maraguinot.
Libero Rica Rivera, Dhannytaine Demontano and Souzan Raslan are also set to do wonder for the Lady Realtors.
“We may be dealing with injuries, but we’re ready to go,” said Pascua, who steered Petron to a sweep of this conference in 2015 with stars Rachel Anne Daquis, Dindin Manabat and Aby Maraño at the helm.
“MJ and Chin are not yet in 100 percent, but some players are ready to step up. We know that the All-Filipino is such a tough tournament, but we’re more than ready to compete and show that we belong.”
Pascua said their goal is to make a semifinal appearance for the first time since joining the league last year.
The closest they ever got to a semifinal finish was in the Grand Prix when they finished fifth with imports Marisa Field and Kristen Moncks of Canada and Bohdana Anisova of Ukraine doing damage on both ends.
Then, they emerged sixth in the Invitationals, giving them all the reasons to bounce back and march all the way to the semifinals.