THE Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) is eyeing to have at least 10 teams in its inaugural season as a professional league that is targeting a January opening.
WNBL executive vice president Rhose Montreal said they have already received 17 entities which have expressed interest to join the league that recently got the nod from the Games and Amusements Board to become professional.
Montreal said a screening committee has already been formed in order to evaluate each entity.
“To give equal opportunity and exposure sa mga players, we are looking at a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 12 for the inaugural season of the pro league,” said Montreal during Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum via video conference.
The WNBL held its first season but as an amateur status last year with six teams with the PSI Lady Air Defenders as the champion.
For its first season as a pro, Montreal said the league will now be stricter in approving the participation of the teams now that the league now has professional status.
Among those that will be looked at by the screening committee is how capable the interested party is in paying salaries to the players.
“We already formed a screening committee. ‘Yung screening committee will decide kung sino ‘yung i-aaccept na membership o franchise owner. We have received I guess around 17 applications already. The screening committee will screen and the financial capability of the team,” said Montreal.
Montreal said the screening committee was also created for the protection of the players.
“This is a pro league already. They will be getting salaries already. Hindi na siya honorarium or allowance basis. This will protect the players to make sure that they will get the salaries committed by the franchise. Medyo tedious ang process but we need to protect the players,” said Montreal.
The WNBL will conduct a draft in order to complete the roster of teams that will be joining the league.