THE country’s first-ever professional women’s basketball league — the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) — will be having its draft this October.
Although no specific date has been announced, NBL Executive Vice President Rhose Montreal said she is currently taking a stock of the number of Filipina basketball players in the country.
“I’m trying to do an inventory of our women’s players. Of course, there will be a draft in October 2020,” said Montreal during an appearance on the “So She Did” webcast.
The WNBL was granted professional status after its application was given approval by the Games and Amusement Board (GAB). The development has been met with a lot of excitement from the basketball community.
“In the midst of this negativity, the pandemic, this is such a big gift for all of us. It gives us a ray of positivity and excitement,” said former University of the Philippines standout Bea Daez.
Daez added that with a professional league to look forward to, Filipina basketball players are doing their best to get in prime shape and sharpen their skills.
“Right now, all the female ballers are saying na kailangan na magpakundisyon uli. I see that in all the friends that I have on social media. Balik alindog uli, nagpapapayat, at nagpapalakas. It’s something really exciting (Right now, all the female ballers are saying that they need to get back in shape. They’re trying to get fit and strengthening their bodies. It’s really very exciting),” she added.
Aside from UAAP and WNCAA players, Montreal announced that they have also lifted the age-limit for applicants as they have gotten a lot of feedback from veteran players who want to play in the WNBL.
“We have increased the age requirement for the playing years because majority of those who graduated earlier in the UAAP and WNCAA. They’ve been messaging us like, ‘Ma’am Rhose baka naman you can increase the age kasi we really wanted to play for a pro league and we’re already 34, we’re already 35’,” Montreal disclosed on the show.
“So basically in WNBL as long as you can play, you’re welcome,” she added.
The first staging of the WNBL saw seven teams complete and these were the Philippine Navy, Philippine Air Force, Taguig Lady Generals, Pampanga Delta Amazons, and the Cleon and Clyde Lady Snipers. The Air Force eventually captured the championship. (JNP)