If there’s a journeyman in women’s basketball, it has got to be Allana Lim.
Since 2012, the 5-foot-9 forward has played for pro teams in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and even Nepal. She has also represented the country in numerous FIBA and SEA Games tournaments.
But during that time, there’s one place Lim was not able to play in — her own home.
Amd so the 32-year-old, who was not part of the Gilas Women’s team of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, is hoping that the Women’s National Basketball League gets support not just from stakeholders, but also from the fans.
“I’m really expecting it to be competitive and to have a healthy competition,” said Lim, a product of FEU, during the Paranaque Lady Aces’ press conference.
“Let’s raise the bar because it’s already professional!”
It has long been Lim’s dream to finally get to play on home soil.
Though many have tried, only the league founded by Chairman Celso Mercado took the leap. And to further prove the WNBL’s role as the country’s caretaker for women’s basketball players, Mercado, league vice president Rhose Montreal, and head of basketball operations Edward Aquino turned the league professional.
For that, Lim is forever grateful.
“Ito ‘yung araw na pinakahihintay namin na dumating. For how many years, especially sa paglalaro ko, parang deserve namin na mabigyan kami ng sarili naming liga,” said Lim, who was part of the Gilas Women’s team that carried the country to Division A in the region.
“We are grateful dahil pinush through talaga nila ‘yung liga, despite na nasa medyo bad situation pa tayo ngayon.”
Lady Aces owner Councilor Marvin Santos has made sure that Paranaque will have a cracked team come the WNBL’s inaugural pro season.
Joining Lim are Clare Castro, AJ Gloriani, April Siat, Kris Tolentino, Mardyn Tingcang, Carmina Reyes, Jamie Alcoy, Mary Joy Galicia, Jhenn Angeles, Vanessa Santos, Tanya De La Merced, Jenina Solis, Sthefanie Ventura, and Jaira Baarde.
For Lim, being tagged as favorites only pushes them to prove them right.
“Nandoon na ‘yung expectation, pero it’s how you prepare. Doon na lang kami mag-focus,” said Lim, who is also an assistant coach at University of Santo Tomas.
“We have to embrace kung sino ‘yung mga kakampi mo — malakas man o mahina, magaling man sa skills or hindi — you just have to embrace it.”