MANILA, Philippines -- Over 300 players have already applied to the first ever draft of the Women's National Basketball League (WNBL).
Rhose Montreal, the executive vice-president of the National Basketball League (NBL), revealed Tuesday during the PSA Forum that since posting their draft form two days ago, they have already received 327 applications for the draft.
"We'll receive applications until September 20," said Montreal.
The screening period will be from October 1-10, and the WNBL will hold a Draft Combine on October 20-22 in a "bubble" environment.
The first ever draft of the professional league will be held via Zoom on October 30.
After the draft, teams will have one week to sign the players they selected. If left unsigned, the players can become free agents and can sign with other squads.
According to Montreal, the military teams such as the Air Force and Navy will retain their rosters, as most of them are enlisted personnel. However, other teams who already have set rosters must "protect" six of their players, and the rest will join the WNBL Draft.
Montreal plans for a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 12 teams in the WNBL's first professional season, with a screening committee set already studying the applications of potential franchisees.
The WNBL will begin action in January 2021, with a preseason in the first week of the new year.
"We'll open our first season as a professional league on the third week of January," said Montreal.
According to Bea Daez-Fabros, the ambassador of the WNBL, the announcement regarding the draft has generated even more excitement within the women's basketball community in the Philippines.
"All my teammates and competitors, mga nakalaban ko back in high school and college, even in the national team -- all those players are coming out to join the draft and everything," she said. "I'm just so happy, because even the older ones are coming out of retirement and starting to work out again to prepare for the draft."
"Everyone is trying to get back into shape in their own homes, no matter how hard it is right now in the quarantine," she added. "They're doing their own thing and trying to find their own ways to get back in shape."