Back when the Women’s National Basketball League held its historic Draft Combine last December 13, Fille Claudine Cainglet was like a kid in a candy store.
After being 10 years away from her glory days as a student-athlete at University of the Philippines, she was back to doing what she loves the most – play basketball.
“It was the greatest time of my life.
“In Philippine basketball, women’s college basketball was the highest level. I was lucky that I was able to get in UP,” she recalled to SPIN.ph’s Reuben Terrado.
Back in her time with the Lady Maroons, Fille Claudine, the sister of Ateneo Lady Eagle Fille Saint Merced, was part of a powerhouse squad – something contrary to the state of the program today. She made a couple of Finals appearances and only missing the Final Four during her last two years.
Since then, the native of Bacolod City has become a doctor in 2015 and is now working her way to becoming an orthopedic surgeon.
But of course, first love never dies.
Once the WNBL turned pro, she immediately made sure to find time to balance her long 36 hour duties with preparing for the combine.
“Super excited kaya kahit thirty-two-years-old na, medyo old bones na, makunat na, I wouldn’t pass this up.”
Safe to say, the 5-foot-2 guard did not lose a step.
During the Combine, she logged 13.08 seconds in the lane agility test, 3.31 seconds in the 3/4 court sprint, 1:04 in the 300-yard shuttle run, and had an average of 66-percent during the shooting drills – all in the upper echelon of the 115 aspirants that attended the combine.
On Saturday comes D-Day for the aspirants.
For Cainglet, it doesn’t matter whether she gets drafted or not. What’s important is that the foundation has been paved for the home for women’s basketball players.
“Sana magtuluy-tuloy itong league na ‘to for the younger ballers. Nung bata kasi ako, wala namang ganito.”