Skills over everything.
That’s what really matters for Rhose Montreal, and that’s what she aims to showcase in the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL), the Philippines’ first-ever professional league for Filipina cagers.
“For us, we want to sell their skills,” said the NBL executive vice president in an online press conference on Wednesday, as she was asked how she plans to market the first-of-its-kind league.
For Montreal, she has always been a believer in the Filipina baller’s talent. And there should be no questions about it, since Filipinas have more than proven themselves — especially in the international arena.
The Philippines is the reigning queen of Southeast Asian basketball after Perlas Pilipinas ruled the 30th SEA Games in Manila last year, giving the country its first-ever gold medal in women’s basketball.
Most of the members of the national team such as Janine Pontejos, Gemma Miranda, Afril Bernardino, and Snow Peñaranda, among others, are all playing in the WNBL, which made its debut last year.
“We don’t want to sell WNBL by selling skin. Since my pro league days, I believe that there is a surplus of talented women ballers in the Philippines,” said Montreal, who was once the marketing chief of the PBA.
“We don’t care about their gender preferences, we don’t care whether they sport short hair or long hair, we don’t care whether they wear pekpek shorts or long shorts. But for us, we want to sell their skills.”
The WNBL on Wednesday has finally been granted pro status by the Games and Amusement Board, finally giving the country a women’s pro cage league that it could call its very own.
And Montreal is immensely proud of this major development. But for the amiable executive, that is for all the Filipina hoopers and to everyone who has long dreamed of this day.
“Today is the day for our WNBL players — the women players who have been dreaming of playing in a professional women’s league,” said Montreal.
“Congratulations po sa inyo.”
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