Global sports brand PUMA recently announced the latest additions to its growing roster of Pinoy talents to represent the brand in the market and further connect with Filipino basketball enthusiasts.
Delivering on its promise to solidify its presence in the Philippine basketball scene, PUMA has tapped rising University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) basketball athletes to officially mark the arrival and presence of PUMA Hoops in the country.
Forming the brand’s first-ever PUMA PH Hoops Squad are UP’s Malick Diouf and Chicco Briones, NU’s Patrick Yu and Jolo Manansala, FEU’s Xyrus Torres and Jorick Bautista, and UE’s Gjerard Wilson and Jack Cruz-Dumont. This exclusive group of student-athletes, who exemplify PUMA’s ForeverFaster mantra, will represent PUMA in several campaigns starting this year.
“The PUMA PH Hoops Squad consists of young athletes who are arguably the future of Philippine basketball,” remarked Paolo Misa, PUMA Philippines country manager. “Recognizing the exceptional skills of the new breed of Pinoy hoopers in shaping the future of Philippine basketball, PUMA intends to play an active role in carving their path and etching their names in the country’s sports history by providing them with a support system to help them grow and develop as athletes,” he added.
PUMA PH Hoops Squad: The future of Philippine basketball
PUMA Hoops houses the brand’s official basketball collection or product line represented by a global squad of elite basketball athletes such as LaMelo Ball, Scoot Hendersoon and Pinoy hooper Kai Sotto. The Philippine iteration of the brand’s global squad boasts eight of the most promising UAAP basketball athletes who are deemed the future of Philippine basketball.
Donning the wide array of PUMA Hoops apparel released this year, PUMA’s All-Star Basketball Squad of 2023 was featured in the brand’s first-ever campaign. The student-athletes showed off and used their LaMelo Ball signature shoes, PUMA MB.02 and MB.03 La France, and the All-Pro NITRO — all built with the best technologies for unparalleled fit and comfortable cushioning, designed to hit the court hard. The first visuals of the squad also feature PUMA on-and-off-the-court looks, designed for comfort and flexibility, enhancing both their performance and style.
Leading the first-ever Pinoy PUMA PH Hoops Squad are 6-foot-11 Senegalese Malick Diouf and 6-foot-6 rookie guard Chicco Briones of the UP Fighting Maroons, who emerged as runners-up in the recently concluded UAAP basketball tournament. In addition to the season 84 championship and the season 85 MVP title, Diouf boasts two Mythical Five accolades under his belt. Despite his limited court time, Cebu-native Briones is inspired by the Fighting Maroons’ run this year and is gearing up to take on a bigger role and create more impact for the team.
Joining them are NU’s team captain Patrick Yu, who hails from Cebu, and Pampanga native Jolo Manansala. A licensed engineer, Yu captained the NU Bulldogs in securing their recent UAAP bronze finish.
UE’s Fil-Am guard Gjerard Wilson and Fil-Canadian shooting guard Jack Cruz-Dumont also signed with PUMA. Despite cutting his UAAP debut due to a shoulder injury, Wilson vows to come back stronger and rally his team for a better finish next year. Scoring a 35.95 efficiency1 in his first UAAP season, Cruz-Dumont helped lead the Red Warriors to their 6th-place finish.
Completing the squad are FEU’s power forward Xyrus Torres and former Gilas Pilipinas Youth standout Jorick Bautista. Five-foot-11 guard Bautista was one of the season’s top 10 scorers and led the three-point scoring board, recording 43.21 percent efficiency in 13 games.1
PUMA noted that this is only the beginning for the PUMA PH Hoops Squad. “We aim to grow this exclusive group of elite basketball athletes. We will sign more athletes in the near future to further solidify this talented crop of players. Our commitment to these athletes, who are no doubt some of the future of Philippine basketball, and the sport will live on,” Misa added.
Watch out for the exciting projects and campaigns with the new members of the #PUMAFam #PUMAPH through the official Instagram pages @pumahoops @puma.
1 Based on November 15, 2023 UAAP score tally