Women’s basketball has been gaining traction over the past few years with the rise of Gilas Pilipinas Women’s.
However, the country still lacks a foundation to encourage young girls to play games in an organized setting. Tournaments have been little to none.
“This is very important for the development of our women’s players. Schools want to recruit girls out of high school who are already fundamentally sound,” said Ateneo’s Representative to the Board Erika Dy, who coached the Ateneo Lady Eagles from 2013-2015.
“Without a Girls’ Division, there is not much interest from young dreamers, to begin with at that level.”
During the inaugural season of the tournament, four schools joined — namely Adamson, UST, De La Salle-Zobel, and Ateneo High School.
Clearly, the Baby Lady Falcons were a cut above the rest during the elimination round, completing a six-game sweep by a substantial margin.
“Before the start of the UAAP, sinabi ko na the mere fact na kasali tayo at binigyan tayo ng approval ng school natin, napalaking pribiliheyo ito sa bawat isa sa amin, lalong lalo na alumni ako ng Adamson,” said Adamson head coach Ewon Arayi, herself a local basketball legend.
“At pangarap ko na magkaroon ng foundation and praise God, meron na nga ngayon.”
Stars were born in the tournament — inluding Adamson’s three-headed beast Cris Padilla, Joan Camagong, and Kat Agojo.
Besides this, as the tournament progressed, the gap between Adamson and the rest of the field closed. And it was most evident during Game One of the best-of-three Finals, that saw the Junior Growling Tigresses stun the Falcons, 73-68.
However, the winner-take-all game will never see the light of day as the league has canceled all of its high school events, while declaring both Adamson and UST as champions.
Though heartbroken that there was no definitive end to the tournament, Arayi is just grateful that Girls’ Basketball finally has a starting point.
“We are very thankful na nagtayo ang UAAP for high school para foundation ito for college.”