Connect with us

Sports

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.

Published

on

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  NU Bullpups overwhelm Tiger Cubs

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 

Comments

Sports

Obiena clinches finals berth in Olympic pole vaulting debut

Thomasian pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena continues his climb for an Olympic medal as he advances to the finals in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Saturday, July 31. 

Published

on

Obiena in Internationales Stadionfes on February 5, 2021. Photo by: Tobias Schwarz, AFP

Thomasian pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena continues his climb for an Olympic medal as he advances to the finals in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on Saturday, July 31. 

Obiena finished as the 10th seed out of 30 competitors, which guaranteed him his finals spot. 

The former Thomasian started his day with two flawless finishes at the 5.50 and 5.65 meter marks. 

However, things weren’t so easy come to the 5.75 meter mark. 

Come the final stage of the qualifiers, the Filipino bet committed two fouls in his attempts to clear the highest mark of the competition. 

But after two near fatal miscalculations, the third time proved to be a charm for the world ranked no. 6 pole vaulter. 

Obiena made his last attempt count. All of his movements were gracefully synchronized starting from the steps, to the perfect form of his C-position, and his clear landing. 

With the finish, Obiena will have a chance to clinch gold for the Philippines in the pole vaulting finals on August 3. 

Comments

Continue Reading

Sports

Hidilyn Diaz writes PH sports history as first Olympic champion

Diaz, who many favored to secure a podium finish in this year’s Olympics, outlasted eight other competitors in the 55kg category, including the world record holder from China, Liao Qiuyun.

Published

on

A momentous victory for Hidylyn Diaz as she competes for the 55-kg weightlifting category at the Tokyo Olympics. Photo grabbed from Reuters

Almost a century since the country marked its footprints in the Olympic games, the Philippines has finally secured a gold medal during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

PH weightlifting bet Hidilyn Diaz topped the podium in the women’s 55-kilogram category of weightlifting.

Diaz, who many favored to secure a podium finish in this year’s Olympics, outlasted eight other competitors in the 55kg category, including the world record holder from China, Liao Qiuyun.

The weightlifter from Zamboanga City started the competition off strong as she lifted 94kg and 97kg in her first two attempts in snatch. She had the chance to take the lead after trying to lift 99kg in her final snatch attempt but failed to do so.

Uzbekistan bet Muattar Nebieva led all competitors in the snatch attempt as she cleared 98kg.

Diaz grabbed the lead in the clean and jerk attempt when she lifted 119kg on her first try. She then set an Olympic record in her final attempt with a weight of 127kg.

Hidilyn will be walking away with around 33 million pesos in incentives for winning gold, 20 million of which would be coming from the MVP Sports Foundation and San Miguel Corporation respectively, while 10 million would be given by the Philippine government in accordance with the Republic Act. 10699. Congressman Mikee Romero will also be giving three million pesos in incentives.

Back in 2019, Diaz took to social media to ask for financial support in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in hopes of bringing home the first-ever gold medal for the Philippines, to which she received mixed reactions from both her fans and the government.

This is the second Olympic medal in four Olympic stints for Hidilyn as she ended the 20-year medal drought for the Philippines in the 2016 Rio Olympics, taking home a silver medal in the 53kg weightlifting category. 

Comments

Continue Reading

Sports

Obiena named PH flag bearer, climbs to sixth in world rankings

Just days after inching closer to the world pole vault top five, Thomasian pole vaulter EJ Obiena has been appointed by the Philippine Olympic Committee as one of the country’s flag bearers along with judoka Kiyomi Watanabe in the upcoming Olympic games on July 24.

Published

on

Screenshot from the tournament livestream courtesy of World Athletics' YouTube Channel.

Just days after inching closer to the world pole vault top five, Thomasian pole vaulter EJ Obiena has been appointed by the Philippine Olympic Committee as one of the country’s flag bearers along with judoka Kiyomi Watanabe in the upcoming Olympic games on July 24.

Most recently, Obiena secured a fourth place finish in the Diamond League held in Stockholm, Sweden. While short of a podium finish, the Thomasian pole vaulter did garner a total of 1,343 points, which improved his rank amongst the world’s best from 10th to sixth place ahead of the 2021 Olympic games.

“Work continues but this fills me with inspiration and gratitude,” Obiena wrote on his Facebook page. 

“We will proudly not just represent the Philippines, but fight for its glory,” he added.

As of writing, Sweden’s Arnold Duplantis leads the world pole vault rankings with 1,524 points. Following him is the American Sam Kendricks, with 1,469 points with Poland’s Piotr Lisek behind him with 1,443 points to round up the top three. 

Frenchman Renauld Lavillenie and American bet Christopher Nielsen complete the top five rankings with 1,379 and 1,360 points respectively.

Comments

Continue Reading

Trending