FOR the first time in history, the Philippines may get an actual shot in the WNBA.
The Indiana Fever, 2012 WNBA champion, signed United States-based Pinay professional baller Chanelle Molina as its official trainee on Tuesday morning.
"OFFICIAL: We have signed Chanelle Molina to a training camp contract. Welcome to Indiana," the team wrote in an official announcement on Instagram.
Molina is a former Washington State standout, and played for the Cougars for four years in the US NCAA D1.
Born and raised in Hawaii by Filipino parents, she dedicates the milestone to her Pinoy roots.
One step towards her goal
"The WNBA has always been the goal, therefore I accepted and fell in love with the process to get here! There are not many Filipino women in the WNBA, so this is for the progress of women’s basketball all over the world. I will celebrate this success and accomplishment, but it’s back to helping my team overseas win in the morning. Thank you Indiana Fever for this opportunity," she said in a heartfelt IG post.
After her collegiate career, Molina played for Norrköping Dolphin in the Swedish Basketball League.
First Filipina in the WNBA
It's important to note that she's signed as a trainee. But if she ever gets signed by the Fever, she can be the first Filipina to ever make it to the WNBA.
Women's national team head coach Patrick Aquino, who been scouting Molina from the sidelines for Gilas Womens, shared his congratulations.
"I've been eyeing Chanelle for quite some time now. I'm just happy that she was given the opportunity like this and wishes the best for her," he told SPIN Life.
Aquino also said that this achievement paves the way for more Filipina ballers to maximize their talents and improve their skills, now that Molina has proven that they can make it this far.
"It does not only opens the door for Filipino girls, but representing the Filipinos in an organization like the WNBA will boost more Pinay players to develop their skills and work harder. I'm proud that she takes basketball to greater heights," he added.