Winning has been a habit for Monique del Carmen over the last five years.
After all, the spunky 5-foot-7 swingman had been with National University – going 80-0 during her stay there.
But when Del Carmen gets drafted on Saturday during the first-ever draft of the Women’s National Basketball League – well, while she is projected as one of the top picks, she will experience something new.
And Del Carmen can’t wait for it.
“Actually excited ako eh.
“Iba kasi ‘yung ‘pag magkalaban talaga kami sa court unlike sa practice. And nae-excite ako kasi parang wala na ako sa comfort zone ko, parang new challenge kasi alam ko kung gaano sila kagagaling,” the UAAP Season 82 Women’s Basketball Finals MVP told So She Did! presented by SMART.
Since ending her stellar run with NU, Del Carmen continued to work. However, she suffered an anterior cruciate ligament tear last February. Still, nothing could keep the 22-year-old Energizer bunny from keeping in shape.
Moreover, it did not stop her from going pro.
“Before nung quarantine actually, na-injure ako. I tore my ACL… Yhat’s around February yata, and then March ako inoperahan. So after March ng operation ko, doon bigla may nilabas na magqua-quarantine nga raw. Siyempre nasa dorm ako noon, hindi ko alam kung anong gagawin ko. Buti na lang meron akong nauwian, may tumulong sa akin na makauwi sa bahay namin. Then during the quarantine talaga puro therapy,” she shared.
“Nagkaroon din ako ng online business which is Pro Clothing PH, kasama ko ‘yung teammate ko na si Mikka Cacho. Actually merong purpose talaga itong Pro business namin. Sabi namin kasi gusto namin magkaroon ng Pro league ang women’s basketball. Pinag-uusapan na namin ‘yun bago mag pro ang WNBL, and then later on nagkaroon ng news na sobrang ganda, nagka-pro,” she continued.
“Sabi ko, ‘Uy! Sakto tayo ha!’ Eh hindi pa namin nalo-launch ‘yung business namin, so parang ang ano namin eh… Kami ang magiging voice para magkaroon ng pro league, sabay biglang may pro league na. So sakto-sakto ang nangyari.”
Del Carmen did not show any signs of her injury during the Combine last December 13.
She logged one of the highest leaps at 26-inches during the vertical jump, while being one of the fastest in the 300-yard shuttle run, clocking in at 1:05.
Definitely, there’s no stopping Del Carmen from reaching her dream.
“Kasi ito ‘yung dream ko eh.
“Actually ito ‘yung dream natin as an athlete na magkaroon ng professional league, lalo na sa ating mga basketball players, diba? So hindi na ako nag-dalawang isip, isang isip lang mag-aano ako ng form ‘yun na ‘yon. Walang alinlanlangan ‘yun kasi ito ‘yung… Kumbaga dream ko talaga and goal sa buhay na magkaroon nga tayo ng professional league,” she said.