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Sofia Olalia Roman - Pinay baller chases WNBA hoop dream

source: Charlie Cuna |

Filipino basketball fans are always eager to see who will be the first Filipino to make it to the NBA. Half-Filipino Raymond Townsend played in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors back in the late 1970s, but we all want to see a full-blooded Pinoy make it in the big leagues. Johnny Abarrientos was reportedly on the NBA scouts' list in the early to mid-1990s, but never got invited. Japeth Aguilar's NBA aspirations were doused when he recently failed to make the cut with the NBA D-League team that drafted him. The search, then, will have to continue.

While we hunt for a legit Filipino NBA prospect, we already might have a kababayan who has a legitimate chance to be the first WNBA player from the Philippines. Her name is Sofia Olalia Roman. She was born here in the Philippines in 1994, but her father, Tonyboy, an attorney, and wife June, moved the entire family to the United States in 1998, when Sofia was only four years old. She has lived most her life in White Plains, New York, but recently had to move away from the comforts of home to be a student-athlete at Dartmouth, an Ivy League college in Hanover, New Hampshire, where she is now a 5'7 freshman guard for the Big Green in the US NCAA Division I.