Perlas Pilipinas coach Pat Aquino says upcoming WPBA a big boost to national team program
Perlas Pilipinas coach Pat Aquino says the WPBA will be helpful in choosing top talent for the women's national team. Gerry Ramos

PERLAS Pilipinas is looking forward to the upcoming inception of a women’s semi-professional league that will be run by the PBA next year, a development seen as helpful in the rise of the sport in the country.

National women’s team head coach Pat Aquino said the PBA is determined to hold the WPBA at the start of next year, with the pro league already issuing invitations to prospective squads.

“We talked to the PBA last week and there are invitations already. They are really planning to push through with the WPBA this coming January,” said Aquino during Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum.

At present, the PBA is holding 3-on-3 women’s competitions in between the league’s double headers, but is keen on holding a 5-on-5 tournament that will be patterned after the PBA D-League.

Aquino said the WPBA will also be open to school-based squads where they can field teams from their current and past players in the semi-pro league.

“I think they are going to invite school-based teams muna and have sponsors by itself,” Aquino said.

Aquino, whose squad is fresh from winning the Seaba Championship for Women a few weeks ago in Malaysia, said the formation of a women’s league will greatly help the national team program in tapping more talent to join the squad.

“Definitely, it will be very helpful for the continuation of the women’s program. Dito natin makikita ‘yung mga mas magagaling na players. Magkakaroon ng competition. It will be helpful for each and every player dahil aakyat ‘yung laro nila. You will be playing against experienced players and younger players,” said Aquino.

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