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WNBL draft gives ‘hope’ to female basketball players around the country – former Growling Tigress

As the Women’s National Basketball League [WNBL] virtually held their first ever draft last February 13,  history was created which promises to be one of the stepping stones of Philippine Women’s Basketball.

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Photo from NBL - Pilipinas / Facebook

As the Women’s National Basketball League [WNBL] virtually held their first ever draft last February 13,  history was created which promises to be one of the stepping stones of Philippine Women’s Basketball.

Aspirants from all over the country were hoping to be part of the first professional women’s basketball league here in the Philippines. But only six teams participated in the draft, leaving other hopefuls as free agents.

Thomasian Pride

Four of the historic draftees are of Thomasian blood, picked highest of those four is Joy Galicia who was selected 16th overall by the Parañaque Lady Aces. The forward who was recently a member of the Discovery Perlas Pilipinas is joined by former Tigress, Jhenn Angeles [guard] who was picked 23rd overall by the same team. 

Karla Manuel was picked one slot before fellow Thomasian, Carol Sanggalang. Manuel was picked 21st overall by Stan Quezon Lady Spartans while Sanggalang was picked 22nd overall by Glutagence Glow Boosters. Manuel and Sangalang were also a part of Discovery Perlas Pilipinas where they honed their skills for the hope to be ready for the professional level.

In an exclusive interview with TomasinoWeb, one of the draftees in Carol Sangalang stated that the WNBL has given hope to aspiring female basketball players in the country. 

“I feel happy and blessed…Finally, we’re able to continue playing the sport that we love even after college. Nagkaroon ng hope ang mga [women] players to pursue their dreams even more,” she said. 

The Women’s National Basketball League, or WNBL is the first ever professional basketball league for women in the Philippines. Prior to this, college players in the country were forced to give up their hoop dreams, or go overseas in order to pursue it. 

Despite being part of history, Sangalang still took her time to thank her roots way back in Espana.

“I’m especially honored to be one of the pioneers for the women’s league. I am proud that I was able to represent UST because I wouldn’t be able to reach my dreams without the school’s support,” Sangalang said. 

“I also can’t wait to compete with my former teammates and other talented players. I’m excited to be in a different environment since I am the only UST player on our team,”  she added, with all three former Thomasians being drafted into separate teams. 

Going back to her first love 

READ  Tigresses upset Lady Eagles to win ticket to PVL Finals

Given that this is the first professional basketball league for women here in the country, most of the draftees have gone into career paths outside of basketball. 

In fact, the first pick of the draft, Dra. Fille Cainglet had been in the operating room in the UERM hospital by the time of the draft, wherein in an interview, she stated she was on duty when her name was called as the first pick. 

Sangalang is no different, just like the former UP star, she had chosen to take on a different path. Currently she is enrolled in the UST Graduate School where she is taking up a Master’s Degree in Developmental Studies. 

“When I heard na magkakaroon na ng professional league for women’s, hindi na ako naghesitate at nagpasa ako agad. Passion ko talaga ang basketball and I really want to continue playing,” Sangalang said.

But just like many others, she did not hesitate to go back to her passion when the WNBL came with an opportunity to play professional basketball in the women’s ranks. 

“Balancing my studies while playing basketball was never a problem because kailangan lang talaga marunong ka mag-manage ng oras,” she said.

Indeed this is just the beginning for aspiring Filipina ballers. For Philippine basketball, this is history made. For women, this is just a stepping stone. A start of a new era in the country, where men aren’t the only ones who can dominate basketball. A path to women empowerment, where people can embrace the fact that men are not the only ones who can play at a high level. Anton Jenard Villegas 

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Chabi Yo bids UST goodbye, signs with Spanish team

Chabi Yo admitted that the pandemic ultimately affected his decision to go semi-pro in Europe.

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Christine Annmarie Tapawan/TomasinoWeb

UAAP Season 82 most valuable player Soulemane Chabi Yo parts ways with UST as he heads to Europe to play for a division 4 team in Spain.

The 6-foot-6 Beninese center will forego his final playing year for the University which is currently aimed to be held by mid-February of 2022.

“We are grateful for his playing years with UST and we wish him nothing but the best in his international basketball career,” Growling Tigers coach Jinino Manansala told TomasinoWeb.

Chabi Yo admitted that the pandemic ultimately affected his decision to go semi-pro in Europe.

“My plan was to finish my playing years in UST before leaving but since COVID came, that destroyed all the plans of everyone,” he wrote to coach Manansala.

When Chabi Yo told UST and its coaching staff about his decision, he mentioned that the time has come to pursue his personal goals.

“I already turn[ed] down so many offers each year but this time I decided to grab the opportunity. I still have a lot of things to improve. I wish I could stay but I also have my personal dreams and goals to achieve,” he added.

Chabi Yo dominated the UAAP during his one-and-done year, bagging the MVP title with 16.9 points per game and a league-best 14.7 rebounds per game. 

The 25-year-old big man was vital to UST’s finals run in 2019 as he led UST to a second-place finish, the University’s best placing since 2015.

With Chabi Yo’s departure, 6-foot-8 Senegal native and former NU Bulldog Adama Faye will serve as the University’s foreign student-athlete come UAAP Season 84.

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EJ Obiena surpasses Asian record, snags gold in Austria meet

Obiena’s record-breaking 5.93-meter jump surpassed the 5.92-meter Asian record of Kazakhstan’s Igor Potapovich in 1988.

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Photo courtesy of Johanna Geron/Reuters

Thomasian pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena breaks the 1988 Asian record, and went with a gold finish at the 2021 Golden Roof Challenge in Austria on Saturday, September 11 (Sunday, September 12, Manila Time).

Obiena’s record-breaking 5.93-meter jump surpassed the 5.92-meter Asian record of Kazakhstan’s Igor Potapovich in 1988.

Obiena was assured of bagging the gold medal as his opponent bowed out at the height of 5.80 meters.

Still, the Thomasian pole vaulter was eager to clear 5.93 meters.

Obiena successfully vaulted over the 5.93-meter mark in his last attempt, leaving a mark in the Asian Pole vaulting history.

The Filipino pole vaulter also surpassed his own national record of 5.91m which he set in the Paris Diamond League last August 28.

USA’s Matt Ludwig settled for silver, while Turkish native Ersu Sasma finished bronze.

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E-Sports

Thomasian esports CEO partners with Blacklist after PH CODM Champs victory

“Through this kind of platform, you can most likely meet your future business partners and friends so never limit yourself and always aim to go for greater things,” Gloria said.

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Thomasian CEO of Team Ultimate EPro Matt Gloria. Photo courtesy of Matt Gloria’s Facebook page

Renowned gaming organization Blacklist International is set to enter the world of Call of Duty: Mobile (CODM) after partnering with the new kings of Philippine CODM, Team Ultimate EPro.

18-year-old Thomasian psychology student and CEO of Team Ultimate EPro Matt Gloria made the partnership possible. As one of the youngest CEOs in the country’s gaming industry, he aims to break barriers in the PH esports arena.

Team Ultimate EPro will compete as Blacklist International Ultimate in the upcoming CODM World Championship 2021 — Garena Finals.

As a young adult, Gloria admitted that being a CEO and a student at the same time is not easy.

“I was able to learn how to balance everything right now and I guess it all became worth it despite the hardships I faced,” Gloria said in an exclusive interview with TomasinoWeb.

Gloria managed to maneuver his life as a CEO and as a student by making countless sacrifices to juggle his responsibilities.

“During my first year at UST, I had a hard time balancing my academic life and my life as an esports team owner due to the conflict in schedules. I admit that I missed some of my classes due to nightly meetings,” he added

Achieving three major events in just a couple of months, Gloria admitted that it was not an easy task for him to handle. But his vision of uplifting the PH esports community made it all possible.

“I believe that it takes a brave soul to take risky decisions and it showed. Team Ultimate won a collegiate event hosted by Fight Esports a few months ago for UST,” the young CEO said.

After sponsoring small teams that won local tournaments, Gloria trusted the process to mark his squad’s footprint in the local esports industry.

Placing first runner-up in the Philippine Pro Gaming League last December 2020, Gloria aggressively did everything in his power to bring in championship-caliber players that could help Team Ultimate EPro.

“I was being looked down on during the past few months and they would question the way I manage due to my aggressive offers on players and my aggressive buyouts from other organizations,” he said.

Gloria also acknowledged that his achievements would not be possible without the help of his management; they took things one step at a time, even without the guarantee of success in the path they are taking.

READ  No regrets for Renzo Subido this season as he wraps up UAAP career

“I’ll be honest, I thought doors closed on me already but it’s never about just that one door. It’s either you quit, find another door, or do everything to get in,” the esports team owner added.

Ultimate EPro climbed its way from the lower bracket to represent the Philippines in the CODM World Championship 2021 — Garena Finals.

Not only did they receive P330,000 as prize money, but they also left their mark on the local CODM scene, as they defeated the former Kings of Philippine CODM, Smart Omega Esports, or more popularly known as NRX Jeremiah 29:11

“The twice-to-beat advantage of Smart Omega was one of the things that intimidated us but the boys pushed through with everything they got,” Gloria said.

According to Gloria, it was this triumph in the National Championships that caught Blacklist International’s attention.

“Blacklist International saw the potential of my players and decided to give them a shot to represent their org as Blacklist International Ultimate,” he added.

With the achievement, a six month co-sponsorship from Blacklist resulted. Gloria also hopes that his team’s continuous success would leave a lasting impact on the Thomasian esports community.

“I encourage all the Thomasians out there to go outside of their comfort zone,” he added

Gloria also reminded the Thomasian community to explore new games and opportunities, meet new people, and most importantly, have fun.

“Through this kind of platform, you can most likely meet your future business partners and friends so never limit yourself and always aim to go for greater things,” he said.

Ultimate EPro is composed of team captain John Benedict “Jaben” Julio, Railey “Yobabs” Abrenica, Gian “Yato” Socao, Martin “Tin” Yap, Neil “Flex” Perez, and Aj “Eiji” Agbing.

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