Philippine Collegiate League brings pre-season women's hoops to summer schedule
MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Team star player Merenciana “Ewon” Arayi has established a new collegiate association for women’s basketball, the Philippine Collegiate League (PCL).
In cooperation with the Rizal Technological University (RTU), the PCL tournament will officially start this Sunday, June 19 at the RTU Gymnasium at Boni Avenue, Mandaluyong City. The tournament will run from June 19 to July 31, 2016 with games starting at 8 AM on every Friday and Sunday.
Admission is free to the public.
Six collegiate teams will face off in Arayi’s newest league, namely De La Salle University, University of the Philippines, Central Escolar University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, plus two teams from RTU. Blackwater Perlas Pilipinas, the current women’s national team, will enter as a guest team.
"It’s a league where we can cater to the development of female collegiate basketball since there is a need for a league for teams to participate in for exposure, experience and development of their game and of their team,” said Arayi.
Cayrone Lim, the PCL tournament head, said that the league also aims to empower women in sports aside from promoting sportsmanship. Lim added that the league also uses sports as a tool for good governance and better development of sports at both the collegiate and national levels.
“As a veteran women’s basketball player, I organized this event to increase awareness of women’s basketball in the Philippines,” said Arayi in an interview. “It will be a good opportunity for our lady ballers to showcase their talents and have additional exposure. Plus, I am doing this for the love of the sport. I owe every success to this.”
Arayi had previously started a similar league in 2014 called the Pinay Ballers League, where collegiate players get to play with BPO employees. She has also initiated the “Share, Serve and be a Blessing” Outreach Program, where she and her fellow players went to sitios and similar communities all over the country teaching basketball and evangelizing. – Rappler.com