MANILA, Philippines -- Veteran setter Rubie de Leon has joined Sta. Lucia's coaching staff where she will assist head coach Edgar Barroga, the team announced on Wednesday.
De Leon is a mainstay of Sta. Lucia, seeing action for the Lady Realtors when they competed in the 2021 Premier Volleyball League Open Conference.
However, she revealed that she is dealing with a "minor injury" that will keep her from training with the team.
"(I) won't share na lang what it is, pero minor lang," she assured. "Hindi ako makaka-training ng mabigat kaya kailangan na mag-adjust."
Due in part to her injury, de Leon will transition into a new role with the team.
"The team is adjusting kasi. We are going to try a new strategy kasama ang new coaching staff. With this, I think mas makaka-contribute ako sa team by guiding them lalo na ang setters," she said.
However, de Leon said this doesn't signal her retirement.
"I wouldn't say it's retirement. More on recalibration lang," she said. "Rest and observe while at the same time helping Sta. Lucia as one of the coaches. Hindi pa tayo ready for retirement."
"Ang gusto ko lang is, kung magre-retire man ako, I want to do it on my own terms," she added. "Sa oras na para sa akin is tama. Dumadating sa lahat ng atleta 'yun. Dadating din sa akin 'yun."
"Pero I will take my time. I decide kung kailan."
In the meantime, de Leon will focus on guiding Djanel Cheng, Sta. Lucia's other playmaker, as well as whoever will be signed by Sta. Lucia a new setter.
De Leon, a former University of Santo Tomas standout, also has experience coaching in the high school level.
The Lady Realtors finished in fifth place in the inaugural professional conference of the PVL, with a 5-4 win-loss slate.