Monday, August 28, 2023

SM Mall of Asia hosts FIBA WC Fan Zone

FIBA WC Local Ambassadors Gabe Norwood and Jeff Chan, with SMART's Jude Turcuato and SBP's Sonny Barrios

With the start of the 2023 edition of the FIBA Basketball World Cup, fans also will have the chance to partake of the action, even if they don't have tickets to the games.

A FIBAWC Fan Zone has been established at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall in Pasay City, a simple walking distance to the Mall of Asia Arena.

Open since the start of the competition last Friday, the Fan Zone will provide mall visitors a myriad of options to enjoy the FIBA World Cup, whether basketball or entertainment.

Interactive booths from the competition's global partners and local sponsors are strewn across the Music Hall, with basketball arcade machines, shooting activities and challenges, among others.

Star celebrity sighting are in store for meet and greet sessions and photo opportunities, with raffle prizes are also in play.

Official FIBA Basketball World Cup merchandise are also available, as well as a chance to buy tickets to the games scheduled to take place at the Mall of Asia Arena.

It's also set up to host viewing parties for games taking place at co-hosts Okinawa and Jakarta.

The FIBAWC Fan Zone is open throughout the duration of the FIBA World Cup, between August 25 until September 10. On weekdays, it is open from 1-10pm, with an 11am-10pm operating hours on weekends.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Cignal ready for FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 coverage

With the highest level of national team basketball about to commence starting August 25, Cignal TV is prepared for the coverage of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 until the final day on September 10.

The media entity is set to bring the most comprehensive multi-platform coverage, whether Pay-Per-View, free-to-air, Pay TV, or even online.

Cignal TV president and CEO Jane Basas shares, "It is a great honor for Cignal TV to be the official broadcaster delivering the most extensive coverage of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 to every Filipino, wherever they are in the country. We are fully committed to utilizing the entire Cignal ecosystem to give nothing but the most seamless, captivating, and memorable FIBA World Cup viewing experience to all basketball fans who want to be part of this historic global tournament."

Both Cignal and SatLite will be offering Pay-Per-View specific channels for the tournament, while games will be shown on free-to-air channels TV5 and One Sports, as well as Pay TV counterparts One Sports+ and PBA Rush. Pilipinas Live is the preferred route if you want to watch the tournament online or on mobile.

For our very own Gilas Pilipinas, matches will be shown LIVE on One Sports, with same-day telecast on TV5 and next-day catch-up on PBA Rush. If Team USA is one's preference, games will be on Pilipinas LIVE and Cignal PPV. Cignal will also have select games aired either catch-up or next day airing on One Sports or One Sports+. All 92 World Cup games will be shown LIVE on Cignal Pay-Per-View and Pilipinas Live, with the latter also offering on-demand telecast, as well as multiple viewing options, exclusive content and interactive features with certain matchups.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Gatorade continues its role as hydration partner for athletes in the FIBA World Cup

Dwight Ramos has powered through rigorous training sessions and tune up games against select teams from Europe, as well as the Ukraine U-21 team in Estonia and Lithuania.

This Gilas Pilipinas key player refuses to be slowed down by injury — and a big part of injury prevention is proper exercise and hydration. By fueling up and replenishing electrolytes lost during games and practice, Ramos doesn’t miss out on any session in between flights from Manila to China for tune up games.

Now in the final stages of Gilas’ prep behind closed doors, Ramos can go the extra mile with Gatorade, the official electrolyte partner of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.
Staying hydrated is the key to longevity - proven quite a number of times by another key player for Gilas and resident import of Barangay Ginebra - Justin Brownlee - who had to learn this lesson the hard way.
Amidst uncomfortable playing conditions in the Cambodia Southeast Asian Games earlier this year, Brownlee battled with cramps and had to miss a crucial part of the match due to fluid loss.
“His legs were cramping up due to the heat and exhaustion,” said Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes when the Philippines lost 68-79 to host team Cambodia in a match played under 41-degree weather.
However, the six-time PBA champion bounced back stronger and more determined than ever to lead Gilas in their redemption tour, bringing the SEA Games gold medal within reach.
After all, in every 40-minute, high stakes game, players need to give their all while battling fatigue and exhaustion. That’s why Gatorade, the official electrolyte drink of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, plays a valuable role in the biggest basketball stage.

Players need to keep rehydrating with the necessary fluids and replacing lost electrolytes to keep them playing longer and the Gatorade formula has been proven to do just that by scientists, nutritionists, and world class athletes for more than 50 years.

With qualifying teams all over the world coming to the Philippines, the tournament can expect the world’s number 1 sports drink to keep world class players fueled up for every match.
To date, other countries have completed their lineup, while the Gilas Pilipinas coaching staff will finalize the final national roster after a round of friendly games with other participating countries.
Among those expected to play are Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic (Slovenia), Denver Nuggets’ Jamal Murray (Canada), Oklahoma City Thunder’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Canada), Utah Jazz's Lauri Markkanen (Finland), Chicago Bulls' Nikola Vucevic (Montenegro) and Gatorade’s own ambassador from the Minnesota Timberwolves, Karl Anthony Towns (Dominican Republic).
Representing the Philippines, Utah Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson will don the Gilas blue jersey, rallying the country’s best athletes towards victory
With these basketball superstars on the stage, Gatorade is sure to make history one bottle and one game at a time.

Megaworld Lifestyle Malls joins FIBA World Cup Fever

If one can't be able to make it to any of the local venues for the FIBA Basketball World Cup, which commences on August 25, one solution is to watch it at a bar, with friends.

Some options for the public to consider were revealed today, as eleven establishments in places within Megaworld Lifestyle Malls locations have confirmed that they will host such events.

Here are the locations where fans can troop to and gather:

●    121, Eastwood City
●    Agave, Eastwood City
●    Bills Lounge, Eastwood City
●    Frankies, Eastwood City
●    Rue, Eastwood City
●    Reserve, Forbes Town
●    Tipsy Pig, Forbes Town
●    Bugsy’s, Paseo Parkview Suites
●    El Calle Food & Music Hall, Newport World Resorts
●    Buffalo Wild Wings, Uptown Bonifacio
●    Whisky Park, Venice Grand Canal at McKinley Hill

For Bugsy's in particular, they are also integrating their own brand of entertainment, as DJ from Magic 89.9 will be pumping in the beats starting 1030pm. The other venues will also have their own specific brand of activation activities to complement the basketball action slated on Friday, highlighted by the Philippines vs Dominican Republic.

Megaworld Lifestyle Malls head Graham Coates shares, "This is quite momentous for the Philippines as it is only the second time that they are hosting this big event. It’s also a great moment to share with everyone that we have top-notch pubs and sports bars who will cater to not just the basketball fan, but to sports fans in general and let them taste the world."

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Pampanga Delta impress in Sinag Liga Asya opener

Sinag Liga Asya

The newest basketball league in the country kicked off on Saturday afternoon at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center, with the Sinag Liga Asya holding its Born 2001 Cup.

Eleven teams are set to participate in this competition, which is run by the same group who previously handled the Pilipinas Super League.

Chairman Rocky Chan shares, "We're just so excited for the SLA. It's a fresh start but it's the same old group, same old teams that we have. We also have our former commissioner and now chief operations officer coach Leo Isaac, who will run the show on the basketball operations side. We're so excited with the inaugural conference of the Sinag Liga Asya Born 2001 Cup."

He adds, "We have 11 teams here in Luzon, we have eight teams in Mindanao and in Visayas. Masaya kami that we are able to give opportunity sa mga bata na tuparin iyong mga pangarap nila,"

Teams in the Luzon leg will play a single round-robin, with eight teams advancing into the quarterfinals. The top four teams will earn a twice-to-beat advantage, with the semifinals and final being true one-game-knockout matchups.

To celebrate the start of the leg, a tripleheader served as its opener, which saw both Pampanga-based teams secure contrasting victories.

Luid One Kapampangan held on to a 73-70 victory over LDG San Pedro in the first match of the day, which saw CJ Buitison score a game-high 26 points. He also added three rebounds, three assists, a block, and six steals. IC Dauting was the only other player in double figures with eleven points, while also contributing three rebounds, a couple of steals, and a block.

In contrast, Pampanga Delta demolished Antipolo Pilgrims LEAP, 101-50. With Governor Dennis Pineda watching the nightcap, his wards ruthlessly took care of business of their overmatched visitors, putting them away in the second quarter with a 20-8 bomb.

The Pilgrims could not do anything about their opposition, allowing the Delta to score 28 and 29 points in the final two periods, while only mustering a combined total of 26 points in the second half.

Jun Roque led the way with seventeen points, four rebounds, an assist, and a block, while incoming DLSU standout Jonnel Policarpio added sixteen points, four rebounds, four assists, and a steal.

Justine Bautista chipped in fifteen for the Delta with four steals, while Carlo Ferreras was the fourth player in double figures with eleven markers.

The third match saw Laguna DatzLav-EOZ Construction use a fourth quarter burst to escape with a 70-63 victory over HUSTLE Rising Suns.

Trailing 57-50 after a Dave Ollero basket with 6:38 remaining, DatzLav scored six straight points to make is a one-point game at 57-56 with 2:58 to go. Vincent Canlas scored a few seconds later to restore a three-point lead. Glenn Madiz answered with a couple of buckets to make it 61-60 with 79 seconds to go.

Laguna would take the lead for good at 62-61 with 48 seconds left off a Marvin Mirondo jumper. Free throws by Mhickael Pontanoza and Madiz make it a two-possession game at 65-61 at the 25 second mark, with Jean Brent Layug scored what turned out to be HUSTLE's final points of the game with 21 seconds remaining. An and-1 from Mirondo restored the two-possession lead, and although he missed the free throw, he made up for it by forcing a turnover on the ensuing possession.

A split from Pontanoza and a layup from Renz Conde capped off the comeback for the squad.

Pontanoza ended up with a game-high fourteen points, seven rebounds, a couple of assists, a block, and four steals. Madiz added a double-double with twelve points and ten boards, as well as a couple of assists and steals.

The Sinag Liga Asya Born 2001 Cup is presented by Converge, and supported by Foton, JProject, Royce Hotel, Sunsport, Bluesky Advertising, Finn Cotton, WCube Solutions, and SCD.

Monday, August 14, 2023

Doncic, Clarkson feature in "Nothing Else Matters" campaign

Nothing Else Matters

With the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 just days away, the federation launched a new global creative campaign.

Called "Nothing Else Matters," it features a select group of players that are set to feature in the World Cup, including Slovenian superstar Luka Dončić and three Asian cogs in Zhou Qi of China, Jordan Clarkson of the Philippines, and Yuta Watanabe of Japan.

Developed by UK agency Be Media and directed by Will Clark Smith, it merges the personal off-season hobbies of these four ballers with their unique on-court talent.

Scenes were shot at specific locations connected to each of their paths: Ljubljana for Dončić, San Antonio for Clarkson, Miyazaki for Watanabe, and Qingdao for Qi.

Using state-of-the-art filming techniques combined with computer-generated imagery allowed for smooth transition for each player from their personal leisure time into the intensity of a basketball battle. With fusion of action, basketball skills, and stunning locations, the outcome is an exciting and kinetic film that highlights the #NothingElseMatters message.

Here is Luka's portion of the video.

The 2023 iteration of the FIBA World Cup starts on August 25, with the final scheduled on September 10 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Local fans will be able to watch the games through Cignal TV as its official Philippine broadcast partner. Games will be made available on free-to-air, Pay TV, PPV, and OTT streaming via Pilipinas Live. Aside from there, it will also be shown through SMART Livestream and Courtside 1891.

Naismith Trophy set for local tour

Naismith Trophy Tour

The most important basketball trophy is set to make its local rounds.

The Naismith Trophy, which is awarded to the champion of the FIBA World Cup, is set to make its arrival to the Philippines, and will be going around the country before the start of the actual competition, the final phase of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Trophy Tour Presented by

Accompanying the Naismith Trophy are a few local FIBA World Cup Ambassadors, complemented with a touch of entertainment acts.

Set to arrive on August 14 in Cebu, the activities in the Queen City of the South commence with the trophy checking out the Mactan Shrine, CCLEX, and Fort San Pedro in the morning. In the afternoon, it will be at SM Seaside Cebu, where Gary David and Jeff Chan will be present, along with the University of Cebu Cheering Team and 2010 Sinulog Idol Grand Winner Jacky Chang performing.

The Naismith Trophy then heads to Davao on the 16th, with stops at the People's Park, the Philippine Eagle Center, and the Malagos Chocolate Museum. On the 18th, it will be at the SM Lanang Premier with David and Jayson Castro. Performing that day are the Madayaw Cheer Revolution Cheetahs, Fusion dance group, and Ralph Angelo Merced.

On August 19, the Naismith Trophy heads to Manila, where it will make the rounds at the three venues of the FIBA World Cup in the country: the Philippine Arena, the SMART-Araneta Coliseum, and the SM Mall of Asia Arena. The next day will feature Larry Fonacier and the other Gilas Ambassadors at the SM Mall of Asia Atrium, with the UP Pep Squad, and Electro Groovers, fresh from their gold-medal winning performance at the World of Dance Junior Championship, are set to perform.

The final stop of the tour will be in Ilocos Norte from August 21-23, where it will be displayed at the EDC Wind Farm, Kapurpurawan Rock Formation, and the Suba Sand Dunes. Alongside the Gilas Ambassadors, the trophy's final mall stop will be Robinsons Place Ilocos Norte, where the Saguday Performing Arts Group and the "Princess Rapper of the North" Faifai Flojo will be performing.

Competition proper begins on August 25 at the Philippine Arena and the SM Mall of Asia Arena, with Angola vs Italy and Pilipinas vs Dominican Republic at the former and Mexico vs Montenegro and Egypt vs Lithuania at the latter.

Tickets are available at the following locations:

For games at the Philippine Arena and SMART-Araneta Coliseum: or at ticket outlets located at the Yellow Gate of the SMART-Araneta Coliseum, Fishermall, Eastwood Mall, SM Aura, SM Fairview, SM Makati, SM Manila, SM North EDSA, SM Megamall, SM San Lazaro, SM Southmall, SM Sta Mesa, SM Mall of Asia, SM Marikina, and Robinsons Department Store Galleria.

For games at the SM Mall of Asia Arena:, or at ticket outlets located at the Coral Box Office of SM Mall of Asia Arena, SM Cinemas at SM Aura, Clark, Bacolod, Davao, Baguio, Grand Central, Cebu, Manila, Batangas, Iloilo, Marilao, Megamall, BF, Lanang, North EDSA, Podium, Cagayan de Oro, Sta Rosa, and Southmall; SM Store Business Center outlets at SM Cubao, Mall of Asia, and Makati; and at the SM Skating and Leisure Center at SM Mall of Asia.

Friday, August 11, 2023

Lanete ends retirement to boost Cebu Chooks bid at Mongolian Challenger

Cebu Chooks

Chico Lanete steps up to the plate once again.

The 44-year-old is set to end his retirement and don the Chooks 3x3 kits once again for this weekend's FIBA 3x3 Sukhbaatar Challenger in Mongolia.

Lanete was an emergency replacement for Cebu Chooks!, after Lenda Douanga experienced problems exiting the Bureau of Immigration in spite of having a Mongolian visa.

He will join CJ Payawal, Isaiah Hontiveros, and Victor Nguidjol in the level nine tournament at the National Amusement Park, which offers slots to the Amsterdam Masters this coming October.

Lanete announced his retirement after playing in the inaugural Cebu Masters last year, where he played for Manila Chooks!

Chooks-to-Go President Ronald Mascariñas is convinced Lanete still has what it takes.

He shares, "Coach Chico's return to action will really  boost the team's morale and overall performance on the court. Again, this shows how much he wants to represent our country and make every Filipino proud."

Mascariñas adds, "His willingness to come out of retirement and step up exemplifies why we do what we do for Philippine 3x3 basketball. Our Olympic dream is very much alive and this tournament in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia will be another stepping for us to reach our goal of seeing another Philippine basketball team donning the flag in the Paris Olympics, the biggest stage in sports."

Cebu Chooks! is slotted into Pool D alongside two Top-15 teams in the 3x3 rankings, facing off against Jimmer Fredette and 9th-ranked Miami at 320pm, followed by 12-ranked Futian at 640pm.

A chance at the knockout rounds the next day beckons if they can survive those matchups.

The Challenger also features a stacked field, including the likes of Antwerp, Beijing, and hosts Ulaanbaatar.

$15,000 awaits the champion, with $10,000 and $6,000 being the financial reward for the podium finishers, as an additional incentive besides the World Tour berths.

The games will be streamed on Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas' Facebook page, as well as broadcast on FIBA 3x3's YouTube channel.

SBP forges partnership with Arena Plus with Cignal TV

From left to right: Eric Centeno – Vice President and Head of Content Innovations and Solutions for CignalTV, Sonny Barrios – Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Executive Director and FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Philippines Local Event Director, Mr. Andy Tsui – President of DigiPlus Interactive Corporation and Mr. Jasper Vicencio - President of ArenaPlus.

A new partnership has been forged for the upcoming FIBA World Cup, as the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, Cignal TV, and ArenaPlus joined forces.

The deal was formalized at the Cignal Experience Center of the Launchpad Building in Mandaluyong last August 8.

In making this announcement, DigiPlus Interactive Corporation President Mr. Andy Tsui shares, "As a leading leisure entertainment provider in the country, our commitment is unwavering – we strive to offer quality entertainment that's accessible and affordable for all, regardless of your social status."

From the SBP perspective, Executive Director and Philippines Local Event Director Mr. Sonny Barrios is elated with the partnership, noting that he had sought additional assistance in particular to the women's side given their recent movements abroad. The NSA already has a previous partnership in place with ArenaPlus as Gilas Pilipinas' Official Sportsbook Partner.

As for Cignal, according to Vice President and Head of Content Innovations and Solutions Eric Centeno, the World Cup partnership is the start of a long collaboration, as the deal will last until 2025, including the Asian Games later this year and next year's Paris Olympics.

ArenaPlus president Mr. Jasper Vicencio echoed these sentiments. He says, "I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for trusting ArenaPlus and giving us the opportunity to support GILAS Pilipinas. I can't wait for more fruitful engagements with this incredible team in the next two years. And as they say in GILAS, 'Puso,' as we promise to put our hearts into this partnership."

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

FIBA to make tickets available for 2023 Hall of Fame Ceremony

Two days before the start of the 2023 edition of the FIBA World Cup, the best and the brightest in basketball will gather at the Sofitel Hotel honor this year's edition of the FIBA Hall of Fame Ceremony.

This coming August 23, the incoming batch of inductees set to be honored include Chinese tower of power Yao Ming, two-time Olympic champion Katrina McClain, and Filipino tour-de-force Carlos Loyzaga, who will be inducted posthumously. All in all, this group will be remembered in eternity for their contributions to the sport, leaving an indelible mark in the history of the international basketball.

In a first, FIBA has decided to open the ceremony to the public, with tickets officially available for purchase starting August 9 via Proceeds from ticket sales will be channeled towards the FIBA Foundation, the federation's social and legacy arm, tasked to preserve and promote the sport's values and its cultural heritage. With its Basketball For Good projects worldwide, the FIBA Foundation believes that it can empower, educate, and inspire the youth through the sport of basketball and its ability to make a positive impact on communities and promoting social change.

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Jhanlo Sangiao suffers first ONE Championship setback

Back to the drawing board for Jhanlo Sangiao, as he suffered his first defeat in ONE Championship on Saturday at ONE Fight Night 13: Allazov vs Grigorian at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok.

The Machine was forced to tap to Enkh-Orgil Baatarkhuu at the 2:53 mark of the second round, after being tagged with a right elbow to start it. The Mongol bantanweight then started to work with his right arm, setting the table for the eventual win.

The 21-year old was building on a strong start to the fight, using his array of strikes to do damage, managing to bloody Baatarkhuu's right eye. However, the veteran kept his bearings and remained focused on securing a submission victory.

Afterwards, he gave Sangiao credit. "I wish him the best. He’s a promising young athlete."

The defeat drops him to 6-1 in his developing MMA career, becoming the second Filipino that Baatarkhuu has dispatched, joining Adonis Sevilleno who suffered a unanimous decision defeat back in April.

Friday, August 4, 2023

Carlo Bumina-ang sizzles in ONE Friday Fights debut

Carlo Von Bumina-ang

Another Team Lakay standout impresses at a ONE Championship event, as Carlo Von Bumina-ang impressively secured his debut victory.

Bumina-ang did that with a first round stoppage against Reza Saedi during ONE Friday Fights 27 inside Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok.

Best known for his efforts at the Southeast Asian Games by snagging a silver medal in the men's 65kg division of vovinam, Carlo only needed 52 seconds to get the job done, tagging the Iranian with a left straight. He then followed that up with more straights, uppercuts, and knee strikes, which forced referee Herb Dean to call the fight.

Post-match, he shares to Gianni Subba, "This feels so good. It’s my first time here, and the people here are so nice, I’m so grateful I pulled it off and got the KO win, I’m so happy." Carlo also adds, "It took me five years to get here and it truly feels great."

Bumina-ang is the latest among the new set of Team Lakay fighters that have garnered recent success, which includes Carlos Alvarez, who was present in his corner for this mixed martial arts matchup.

Alvarez remains undefeated in ONE Friday Fights, having defeated Reza Abasi and Sadegh Ghasemi in previous editions of this weekly event at the fabled fight venue.

Manila Chooks ready for Yichang Challenger

Manila Chooks off to China

With one eye on the upcoming Cebu leg of the 3x3 World Tour, Manila Chooks! continues its preparations through its participation in the FIBA 3x3 Yichang Challenger this weekend.

The quartet of Mac Tallo, Dennis Santos, Paul Desiderio, and Marcus Hammonds have been bracketed together alongside Futian and Zaisan in Pool A.

The eighth seeds are facing the Chinese side first at 210pm on Saturday, followed by their Mongolian opposition at 4pm. If they emerge as first or second in the group, they will get the chance to play in the knockout rounds slated on Sunday.

This particular Challenger leg seeks to fill available spots in the World Tour Masters leg at Constanta in Romania, with teams like Utrecht and Princeton also competing for the chance to be in the top 3x3 club tournament in the world.

Aside from this, it is also an opportunity for the side to procure additional points that can help boost the chances of the Philippines to be able to send a team to the Olympics next year in Paris.

As shared by Chooks-to-Go President Ronald Mascariñas, "We treat every tournament as a valuable tool to make our team better. This year is crucial and the points we earn in every international FIBA tournament we play in all contribute to our ultimate goal of making it to the Olympic Qualifying Tournament."

He adds, "Our players have taken this to heart and are all pushing their limits towards that lofty goal."

Mascariñas also says "The Yichang Challenger, just like all the other tournaments, is another opportunity to sharpen our skills and fortify the solid foundation we've set with Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3x3."

The Challenger, which has a $15,000 prize for its champion, will be streamed on Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas' Facebook page, as well as FIBA 3x3's YouTube account.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

UST formalizes partnership with Cocolife, DUMPER Party-list

Cocolife x DUMPER x UST

Buoyed by their recent partnership with San Miguel Corporation, the University of Santo Tomas secured another injection of support, thanks to a MOA signing with two entities with interests in basketball.

Held at their headquarters along Ayala Avenue in Makati, Cocolife, alongside party-list group Drivers United for Mass Progress and Equal Rights (DUMPER), the three entities joined forces with the goal of helping revive the collegiate men's and high school boys' teams.

Representing the school is IPEA director Fr. Roden Cansancio, while brand ambassador Col. Ariel Querubin served as Cocolife's signatory alongside Senior Vice President Joseph Ronquillo. Acting as Representative Claudine Bautista's representative in the event is Bhong Baribar.

Fr. Cansancio shares, "We’re excited for this partnership. We know kung ano ang maitutulong nito sa UST basketball program. Like what coach Pido said, we need the help of everyone and we acknowledge this big help." He adds, "We can assure the Thomasian community that we will bring our basketball program to new heights. Hindi natin masasabi na magcha-champion agad this season but with these corporate sponsorships from SMC, Cocolife and Dumper Partylist, malayo ang mararating natin."

On their end, Ronquillo shares, "UST is one of the great schools in the Philippines. It’s a huge honor for us to be partners with them in this journey as part of our mission to support grassroots sports for Filipino youth. We’re hoping for a great season for UST."

In a statement posted on their Facebook page, the party-list group serving the transport sector shares,

"Sa pamamagitan ng programang ito, magkakaroon ng oportunidad ang mga batang may kakayahan sa basketball na makapasok bilang full scholar sa UST. Ito ay isang oportunidad para sa ating mga kabataan na makapag aral sa UST at makapag laro sila ng basketball.

Maraming salamat UST and Cocolife! Sikapin pa natin at gawing layunin na makakuha pa at maimpluwensiyahan pa ang mas madaming mga well-trained athletes at mabubuting mag-aaral.  Sama-sama tayong magtulungan para sa magandang kinabukasan ng ating mga kabataan."

Although specifics on the deal was not disclosed, the parties did acknowledge that the deal is at least for the upcoming season, noting the possibility that can be extended and/or expanded to other sports.

Cocolife has had experience being in this situation, having backed the United Volleyball Club in the Philippine Superliga and with the Davao Occidental Tigers in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League and the Pilipinas Super League. Joining Cocolife in their work in the PSL is DUMPER.

This past season saw the Growling Tigers finish at the bottom of the league with a 1-13 record, whilst the Tiger Cubs ended up in the Final Four with a 7-7 record. Both teams opted to refresh their squads for the upcoming campaign, starting off with new tacticians, led by the returning Pido Jarencio in the men's and Manu Inigo for the boys'.

A few of the Tiger Cubs were present for the MOA signing, whilst the Tigers are currently in South Korea for their preparations for Season 86 currently scheduled at the end of September.