Jack Animam will head to Taiwan to play basketball for Shih Hsin University in the University Basketball Association.
Two years ago, the troika of Afril Bernardino, Allana Lim, and Chack Cabinbin went to Malaysia to serve as imports in the Malaysia Women’s Basketball League.
See the trend here?
Though there is a semipro league here in the Women’s National Basketball League, there is still no pro women’s league.
And last Saturday, Animam, Bernardino, Clare Castro, and Katrina Guytingco all joined arms in calling for a formation of a women’s league during an episode of So She Did!, presented by SMART Sports.
“I definitely wish we have a basketball league in the Philippines so Jack could stay with us. She don’t need to leave because honestly, she’s one of the best players that the Philippines has ever seen,” said Guytingco, a product of Ateneo who just graduated this year.
“Para sa akin, siyempre kailangan din natin ng kahit na maliit na professional league for women’s. Siyempre after college kasi wala tayong mapupuntahan, and paano naman ‘yung mga tulad natin na mahilig sa basketball, ganyan,” added Bernardino, who graduated National University two years ago.
“Kumbaga passion na natin ‘yung basketball eh, paano na after ng college?”
After all, Filipina basketball players are part of Asia’s elite.
During the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, Gilas Women’s dominated the field, winning both the 5-on-5 and 3×3 competitions.
But what happens next? The girls can’t just wait for another two years for the next SEA Games.
And what about those players who don’t have any offers yet to play abroad? Take for example 6-foot-4 Castro.
“Gusto ko muna iimprove ‘yung game ko dito,” shared Castro, who graduated FEU this year, when asked about if she has received any offers to play overseas.
For Guytingco, there’s no difference between how they train compared to the men’s side.
“I really do believe that we need a league because there is just so much talent out in the Philippines. So many amazing female basketball players that are not getting the recognition that they deserve, and so we go to the same process as men, like we practice every single day, we work out, we go through the mental and physical pain. So I think it’s only fair that we should have a league as well.”
Though excited to play abroad, Animam shared that it would have been better if she was playing in front of her fellow Filipinos.
And they proved that they could fill-up the mecca of Philippine sports Mall of Asia Arena during the SEA Games last December.
“Yeah, like what Trina said, sobrang gusto talaga namin magkaroon ng women’s league dito sa atin. Kasi yes, there’s so much talent talaga, it’s just that there’s no avenue to show people and sayang.’ Yun nga, we have to go pa overseas just to play. Kung puwede sana dito na lang sa atin diba? “