Tough will be Taguig’s climb if it wants to be the queens of Philippine basketball come the 2021 Pia Cayetano-Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) champion.
For the Lady Generals to win, it has to topple the unbeaten Paranaque to become the country’s first-ever professional women’s basketball champions.
“Yung finals na ito comparable siya kay David and Goliath,” said Marichu Bacarro during last Tuesday’s PSA Forum presented by San Miguel Corporation (SMC), MILO, Amelie Hotel Manila, Braska Restaurant, Daily Tribune, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
“We need to double our effort para mabigyan sila ng magandang laban.”
Dominant has been the Lady Aces all season long.
Paranaque is entering the finals riding a 10-game winning streak, including a 58-37 win over Taguig last September 26 and a 63-49 rout in their second round encounter last October 30.
At the forefront of their squad are Allana Lim and Clare Castro, both of whom staples in Gilas Women of past and present.
“Siyempre yung makuha ang championship at mag-create ng history sa first-ever pro league ng women’s,” said Castro, a double gold medal winner with the Gilas Pilipinas women’s 3×3 and 5-on-5 team in the last Southeast Asian Games here two years ago, of Paranaque’s immediate goal.
“Ang lagi ko lang sinasabi, and even our coaches laging ini-instill sa amin na huwag kaming magpa-kampante dahil bilog ang bola,” added Lim.
“Dapat focus lang every time we step on the court, focus lang kami dapat sa goal namin.”
But if there’s one advantage Taguig has, it’s how anyone can explode at any time.
“Wala kaming individual player na star talaga, so mostly kami we play as a team,” said Karla Manuel as Bacaro, Tin Capilit, Wiz Duazo, and Janeth Sison can explode anytime.
“Yung sistema lang nga mga coaches ang sinusunod namin, and double effort lang kami sa defense, yun kasi ang strength namin to win games.”
Women’s Basketball Festival
The draw results have Uratex Tibay, QWBT, Fourbees Hoopers, JJD Basketball and Dreamers in Group A, and Uratex Dream, Bluefire Gasulista Huskies, Jiaguel, Swish, and Amazing in Group B.
A total of 16 elimination round games will be played on Day 1, and four on Day 2. The top two teams in each group will play in the semifinals, the winner moving on to the finals to be crowned on Sunday.
Uratex Dream will have Kaye Pingol, Tina Deacon, Alyssa Villamor, and Angel Anies in the line-up, while Uratex Tibay will be fielding Sam Harada, Eunique Chan, Ford Grajales, and Kat Quimpo.
Swish’ roster has Sunny Lucañas, Eyjay Go, Cheska Maristela and Carole Monteloyola, and Dreamers have Rica Francisco, Leodine Maria Madrid, Ira Canales and Anddre Nikkita Gonzales.
Amazing is composed of Bennette Revillosa, Dixie Yu, Aiumi Ono, and Ana Thea Cenarosa; QWBT has Kathleen Baldovino, Angelica Azarias, Claudine Carbonilla, and Shienna Carbonell; and Bluefire Gasulista Huskies have Snow Penaranda, Michelle Bio, Loraine Gonzalo, and Kat Magsombol.
Jiaguel’s roster is Boom Moslares, Pam Payac, Trina Guytingco, and Cara Buendia.