Bent on giving women a league of their own

    36

    THE PBA is bent on forming a league for the country’s women players.

    Commissioner Willie Marcial stressed this yesterday, adding that bringing back a full court tournament for the distaff side would help the country follow up its historic feats in the recent Southeast Asian Games.

    “Maganda nga ngayon, habang sariwang-sariwa pa iyung achievements na nakamit ng ating mga babaeng manlalaro,” Marcial told Malaya-Business Insight.

    In the recent SEA Games, the Filipina basketball topped the inaugural women’s 3×3 tournament and also won the 5×5 event for the first time.

    Those victories spurred renewed interest in organizing a women’s tournament, something that was put on the back burners after a semi-pro tilt was held in the PBL in the late 90’s.

    There is currently a women’s side to the fledgling National Basketball League, with only a handful of teams competing.

    Marcial said the idea of the PBA having a side tournament for women players has long been a pet project of his.

    “Unang taon ko pa lang talagang gusto ko at ng mga governors din na magkaroon ng ganyan, tournament para sa babae,” related Marcial, who was installed into office in late 2018.

    A couple of big obstacles stand in Marcial’s way, however.

    “Unang-una, scheduling. Hindi pa namin ma-determine kung kailan, kung papaano conduct of the tournament,” Marcial pointed out.

    “Pangalawa, players. Sa ngayon kasi, sa nakikita namin, enough lang mga players for three to four teams samantalang ang ideal na field, para sa akin, walo,” he added. “Kaya siguro, kailangan sa eskuwelahan tayo kumuha. Pero pag-aaralan naming lahat iyon.”

    There is also the problem of sponsorship. “Hindi naman kasi ganoon kadali mag-maintain ng team,” offered Marcial.