Sta. Lucia Realtors slates return, takes over Pasig MPBL franchise
After an almost 10-year absence from the Philippine Basketball Association, Sta. Lucia Realty is staging a comeback to mainstream basketball, but this time in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.
MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes said Sta. Lucia Land Inc., a company owned by Exequiel Robles, has taken over the Pasig franchise.
Apart from shelving the team’s Pirates moniker, the Sta. Lucia Land Inc.-Pasig Realtors will also have new management. The team will be managed by long-time manager and two-time Executive of the Year awardee Buddy Encarnado and coached by former University of Santo Tomas mentor Bong dela Cruz.
“This is a brand new Pasig. We will make sure we will represent the Pasigueños with a sense of pride by putting up a competitive team. We will carry Pasig with all our hearts because we are true blue Pasigueños. Boss Exequiel Robles is from Barangay Santolan, while I am from Barangay Sumilang,” Encarnado said.
The MPBL awarded the rights of the Pasig franchise to Sta. Lucia Land Inc. when the league and former team owner Gene Pineda failed to come to terms. The franchise had been under two previous owners – James Ong Machate and Paolo Mercado.
Sta. Lucia has been involved in Philippine basketball for a long time and has produced some of the best players, including Dennis Espino and Marlou Aquino, and Duremdes.
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