Mikee Reyes on Sep 14, 2015 03:39 PM
Bea Daez of the UP Lady Maroons is one of the best players in the UAAP Season 78 women's basketball tournament.

Since the start of the UAAP season a little over a week ago, the men’s basketball tournament has been in full effect. Almost everyone is tuned in and updated with all the happenings around the league. I mean, come on, the UP Fighting Maroons are 2-0! (Yes, I wrote this an hour away from the UP-UST matchup). The UE Red Warriors, whom many predicted will end this season at 0-14, stunned the defending champions NU Bulldogs on Saturday! We all know that the season is young, but then you just have to appreciate all the surprises and the unpredictability of the league this year.

While everyone is focused on the guys of the UAAP, the girls also just started their Season 78 campaign. Unlike the men’s division, not a lot of people are really in the know of the women’s side of things. Women’s basketball hasn’t really gotten enough exposure and TV time for potential supporters to know how it feels to catch one of its games. Yes, we don’t have a women’s professional league yet, and this may be a reason why it isn’t taken as seriously as the men’s side because it seldom becomes a career for girls, but then, these chicks can ball too!

Okay, maybe it’s only cause I have a reason to watch women’s basketball. Maybe that was why I started watching in the first place. I won’t lie, if I didn’t have a good reason to, I wouldn’t catch these girls in action too. But since I already spent an ample amount of time catching women’s action, believe me when I say these girls are worth the time! Malay ko ba, diba? SULIT!

I’ve had a basketball player for a girlfriend, Bea Daez of UP, since she was in 2nd year high school playing for Assumption Makati. I’ve watched her play since then and now that she’s in her senior year in the UAAP, I’m still here cheering her on. Along with her, I also have a sister, Patti Reyes of NU, who plays ball! I’ve been supporting her since she was in grade school until now when she’s finally a rookie in the UAAP. Both these girls, I’m out to support every game. I actually just came from the UP-UST tiff and I’m here just waiting for the NU-ADMU matchup. I actually asked my best friend if I should still wait for my sister’s game because I wanted to watch the men’s game at MOA. She told me “Sisters over misters”, whatever that means. So yeah, I’m going to miss the men’s UP-UST war for a women’s game. Imagine that! Livestream na lang.  

As you could expect, it’s a lot different watching a man’s game played by girls. They obviously aren’t as skilled as guys. Their reactions aren’t as quick and their shots aren’t as efficient. The physicality isn’t on the same level too, thank God! And of course, they aren’t as big as the guys. Although, you got to see those big girls from FEU and DLSU, Clare Castro and Fretzie Oyao! They make life miserable for the little ones, for sure. Napapapikit ako pag dumadrive si Bea tas sila nakaabang sa ilalim eh.

What you could expect though is 40 minutes of pure determination, 40 minutes of back-and-forth action. You should see these girls run and dive for loose balls! Who said girls didn’t want their hands dirty? If you aren’t as skilled as the rest of them, you make up for it with intensity and energy, and man, these girls know that! These ladies know what it takes to get a W. I’ve seen girls get injured and tear a little before running back out there to ball. Literal, minsan parang manok yung bola tas hinahabol nilang lahat. Ganun ka-intense! Enjoy manuod, pramis!

Like in any league, whether it be men’s or women’s, there will always be superstars. There is always that group of players that stand out. In a basketball game in particular, laging may isa o dalawang nakakabilib at nakakagulat maglaro. These players do things that separate themselves from the pack. This goes the same with UAAP women’s basketball.

You should see the likes of Vergara of DLSU, Jose of Ateneo, Daez of UP and Gupilan of NU. I’m not saying they’re the only superstars in the league, but I’m pretty sure they’re all in that special group of incredible lady athletes!

They don’t look like men, but man, they play like they are. That girl, Chay Vergara, can shoot the lights out while the beautiful (biased ako, sorry kayo) Bea Daez can take over games all by her lone self! Danica Jose is the “woman” in the middle while Shelley Gupilan stands behind the 3-point line, like that stretch-4 that you usually see among men.

These girls are all unbelievably talented… But have you seen AFRIL BERNARDINO of NU?! First, she’s the reigning MVP of the league. Second, she led the Blackwater Perlas Team to a historic finish during the recently concluded FIBA-Asia Championship.  Third, well…THIS GIRL IS A BALLER! To see is to believe though so, you have to come out and catch this girl play!

Yes, basketball is known to be a man’s sport, but no, it doesn’t mean girls can’t excel in it too. I usually spend my Sundays at the Blue Eagle Gym to catch these ladies get out there and compete.

Trust me, it’s worth the time. I’ll see you there sometime, maybe?

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