WNBL gains blessing amidst pandemic

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    IF there’s a silver lining in the middle of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic, it should be the pro status gained by the Women’s National Basketball League, according to some of the country’s players.

    “In the midst of all this negativity, the pandemic, this is such a big gift for all of us,” said former University of the Philippines standout Bea Daez-Fabros in the So She Did podcast.

    “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,” added Daez, who suited up for Cleon and Clyde in the maiden season of the WNBL when it was still an amateur league last year.

    The National Basketball League and WNBL’s pro applications were approved by the Games and Amusements Board last Wednesday.

    NBL executive vice president Rhose Montreal announced that the WNBL will hold its inaugural draft in October.

    “I’m trying to do an inventory of our women’s players. Of course, there will be a draft in October 2020,” said Montreal in the podcast presented by SMART Sports.

    “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.’ So, basically in WNBL as long as you can play, you’re welcome.”

    The 6-foot Danica Jose, a member of the Gilas Pilipinas Women squad and a former Ateneo Lady Eagle, shared the same sentiments, saying: “It’s about time that we have a pro league most especially because there have been a lot of attempts to make women’s basketball big in the country.