Photo Curated by Courtside Philippines

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MPBL is Buddy Encarnado’s dream come true

by Jim Lemuel Wilson, June 27, 2019 11:12pm

After nearly 10 years since their last appearance in the Philippine Basketball Association, the Sta. Lucia Realty is back in the mainstream Philippine basketball scene via the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.

Two-time Executive of the Year Awardee Buddy Encarnado is once again managing the team, and he is seeing his dream come true, Encarnado said in a phone interview with Courtside Philippines.

“Ito yung fulfillment of my dream na dapat homegrown tayo. ‘Wag natin kalimutan yung homegrown,” the Sta. Lucia-Pasig Realtors' team manager said.

“That’s what I have been saying, and I have been very consistent from Day 1, since 1983. And now is the time for Sta. Lucia to go back to mainstream Philippine basketball [scene],” Encarnado added.

The MPBL brand seems to be a perfect storm for Encarnado as teams in the league are required to have homegrown talents in their lineups. The league, too, gives former collegiate players a venue to play the game they love and make a living even if they can’t make it to the lineup of the 12 teams currently playing in the PBA.

“Ang sinasabi ko all this time, homegrown. More so now, dahil saan pupunta yung ating mga graduate ng UAAP, NCAA, NCRAA, UCBL, yung mga galing sa probinsya, considering na sa PBA, out of 70 or 80 na draftehopefuls, sabihin mo nang 25 [ang makukuha]. Out of those, ilan ang mabibigyan ng kontrata? Sabihin mo nang 12. Ang matitira na lang dun sa 12, siguro lima mga homegrown, [yung iba FilAm],” Encarnado explained.

“Noon ang tanong ko, until now, how can we provide professional living in basketball when our homegrown becomes a minority? Ang tanong mo bakit kami pumasok sa MPBL? Because MPBL right now is championing my advocacy long time ago,” he said.

Encarnado also pointed to the biggest revelations in the Datu Cup, San Juan’s Mike Ayonayon and Jhonard Clarito, who both played in the NCRAA.

Talking about his team in the MPL, Encarnado admitted that Pasig does not have the best talents in the league as they were one of the last teams to be built for the season. He, however, vowed that the Realtors will give the Pasigueños a good show.

“It will always be an exciting moment. As I say, if you go into basketball, no quarter asked, no quarter given,” he said.

“Alam naman natin na may malalakas. Alam natin ‘yan from the start. We took this opportunity to be able to, number 1, to get back to mainstream Philippine basketball [scene]. Number 2, the ability to provide an opportunity to undiscovered talents,” Encarnado said.

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