By Adrian Stewart Co
Four Western Visayas-based basketball cagers will be among the 115 aspirants in the first-ever Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) rookie draft today.
Ilonggas Shanna Mae Latoza and Mary Krista Roberto, Bacolodnon Fille Claudine Cainglet and Guimarasnon Shellyn Bilbao are among the Region 6 players in the draft that will have a unique system.
Latoza, who hails from Lambunao, Iloilo, was a former standout of West Visayas State University, while the Tanza Timawa, Iloilo City-native Roberto has previously played for University of San Agustin.
The Bacolod City-native Cainglet, meanwhile, was a former star of the University of the Philippines’ women’s basketball team and Bilbao was a former center of Adamson Lady Falcons.
Unlike in other rookie drafts, WNBL has a different set up where each team is allowed to protect a select number of players before adding more to their rosters from the draft list.
Glutagence Glow Boosters chose to protect three players and were granted 12 picks making them the only team to draft in the first two rounds, while Stan Quezon Lady Spartan opted to protect five players, giving them 10 picks.
Pacific Water Queens protected six players, giving them nine picks, while WNBL original Parañaque Lady Aces had seven players protected allowing to have eight selections.
Two more teams are expected to give the league’s office their proper papers this week. The first team to accomplish the task will be awarded the remaining picks in each round, still subject to the number of protected players they submit.
Guest team Go for Gold-Philippine Navy Lady Sailors are not part of the virtual draft since all of their players must be enlisted armed forces members.
There were close to 200 female basketball players who submitted their application but only 115 were qualified to the rookie draft, all of whom took part in the Draft Combine last December 12 to 13, 2020./ASC, WDJ