University of the Philippines’ Men’s Basketball Team got another shot-in-the-arm after renewing its partnership with staunch backer Januarius Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiary STATS Performance Apparel for the next two UAAP seasons.
The company’s support has been instrumental in the Fighting Maroons’ rise over the last few seasons with JHI chairman and CEO JJ Atencio bankrolling the team’s overseas training in Serbia and the United States and STATS serving as official outfitter.
Atencio announced that JHI will also provide the Maroons with sports data analytics technology, which is being used by elite teams in different leagues overseas.
UP head coach Bo Perasol, team manager Atty. Agaton Uvero, nowheretogobutUP Foundation founder Renan Dalisay, JHI head of business development Paolo Cagalingan, and STATS chief executive officer Edrin Panganiban were present in the MOA signing recently.
Cagalingan also spearheads JHI’s investments in sports analytics technology.
“What’s exciting for us starting this year is analytics,” said Atencio, whose company was among the first to help the Maroons in 2017 when the program began its turnaround.
“That’s one of the things we are working on with the team and that’s what we’re looking forward to—how it would help them.”
Atencio said the results the past few years have only fueled his drive to further support the team, which reached the finals in 2018 and registered another Final Four appearance last season.
“Our journey with the UPMBT started three years ago, when, acting on a strong gut feeling, we decided to be major sponsors, despite the team just coming out of a lackluster season, the absence of significant community support, and my not even being a UP alumnus,” said Atencio.
“We wanted to be part of the dream and help create something that eventually we could all be proud of. Fast forward to today, it’s a completely different situation. While the team has accomplished a lot these past years, the work isn’t finished yet,” he added.
“That dream continues to unfold. Success is a process after all, and we continue to be motivated and encouraged to keep on supporting and being part of this journey—in good times and bad. We think that the next two years will be really good for the team.”
Perasol welcomed the renewal of the partnership with JHI.
“We are beyond grateful for having JJ (Atencio) and JHI in the team for the past three years and a couple more,” said Perasol.
“Despite the COVID-19 situation, he still chose to stay on. He is as determined as we are to see everything through. More than the financial aspect of things, the moral support they have given us from the start is priceless. JJ is like a father or a brother to the players and us coaches. His kindness and faith in the team truly inspire us.”
Uvero said supporters like Atencio and STATS helped the team immensely when the Fighting Maroons struggled.
“Sir JJ Atencio was one of the first to give hope to our program,” said Uvero.
“A believer in the value of education, he graciously sponsored the team’s first overseas training when all we had to show was a promise to do our best. Four years after, we now have a sustainable program and a team that is going to be competitive for many years to come. We will always be grateful for his support.”