PVL: Why Illa Santos-Ng is wearing No. 24

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 06 2019 09:16 PM

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MANILA, Philippines—De La Salle volleyball icon Manilla Santos-Ng will be using a different number when she makes her return to the sport, 10 years since she last played competitively.

Santos-Ng rose to fame wearing No. 14 for the Lady Spikers. She led La Salle to the crown in Season 71, earning Finals MVP honors in the process. The school would later retire her jersey; Santos-Ng is still the only volleyball player that La Salle has honored thusly.

The 5-foot-5 spiker makes her competitive return to the sport in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Open Conference with the Choco Mucho Flying Titans, for which she will wear No. 24 instead.

Former Ateneo standout Bea de Leon, one of the key members of the Choco Mucho team, will use No. 14. According to Santos-Ng, changing jersey numbers was not a particularly hard decision to make.

"Well, when I learned that I'm going to play in Choco Mucho, I know naman Bea was there, and we have the same number. Hindi na kami nag-discuss noon, ano," she told ABS-CBN News.

The former Lady Spiker was already determined to use No. 24, for a very specific reason.

"Tapos ang number ko na talaga ngayon is 24, because 14, and then plus 10. Plus 10 years, 'di ba," she explained. 

Santos-Ng also revealed that De Leon even offered to let go of No. 14, and let the veteran have it.

"Bea was so kind enough to actually approach me, and ask me, 'Ate do you want my number? If you want, I can give it to you'," she said.

"Pero sinabi ko, 'No, na, okay na ako.' Kasi may story naman na. But again, hindi ko hinand-over sa kanya, but she was the one who actually approached me," she added.

For Santos-Ng, the number she will use already holds so much meaning.

"Fourteen, and then 10 years," she said. "So it's 24."

The PVL Open Conference begins on Sunday, August 11. Choco Mucho's campaign starts on August 14, when they take on Chef's Classic.

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