WNBL champs will get to compete abroad, says exec

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 10 2020 03:18 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- The champions of the first ever professional season of the Women's National Basketball League (WNBL) will get the opportunity to compete abroad.

This, according to NBL executive vice president Rhose Montreal, who announced Tuesday that they want to bring the champions to a "pocket tournament" in a neighboring Southeast Asian country.

"We're targeting Thailand or Indonesia," Montreal said during the PSA Forum.

The WNBL was granted professional status by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) just last month, making it the first ever pro basketball league for women in the Philippines.

At the moment, the league is accepting draft applicants, with Montreal saying over 300 have applied since Sunday. The WNBL is also screening applicants for franchises. The plan is for 10 to 12 teams to compete in the league's first professional season.

"It's all about competitiveness," Montreal explained. "When it comes to the Philippines, we're really a leader in terms of basketball. So after the first season, we're bringing the champion of the WNBL (abroad)."

This is similar to what they are doing with the NBL, where they bring the champion to the United States to compete with teams from the NBL circuit there. 

"There's a very close relationship with NBL Philippines and NBL-USA," Montreal pointed out.

"What the NBL is doing, WNBL will 'copy-paste'," she added. "Particularly on this leveling up on competitiveness, not only within the country, but also outside the country."

The WNBL will hold its first ever draft via Zoom on October 30, with its season expected to start by the third week of January 2021.