Kiefer Ravena has become the talk of the town once again following Tuesday’s huge announcement that he has signed with Jordan Brand, becoming the first-ever Filipino affiliated with the growing Jumpman family.
The PBA star joins a spectacular roster of basketball athletes from the NBA and WNBA such as Zion Williamson (who unveiled his signature shoe recently), Satou Sabally, Luka Dončić, Jayson Tatum, Asia Durr, and Kia Nurse.
It is also worth noting that Ravena is now one of the few Asians to represent the brand. The others are Chinese hoops star Guo Ailun; and Japan’s very own Rui Hachimura, now in his second season with the Washington Wizards.
The year 2021 is shaping up to be quite a year to remember for the Filipino sneaker community, given the developments over the past month.
Just last April, World Balance announced that it signed Scottie Thompson to a major deal. Part of their collaboration would be the launch of the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel star’s signature shoe line.
Ravena and Thompson are just the latest to join a list of PBA players who have landed deals with major brands. Wondering who the others are? Tiebreaker Times looked back at recent years, and here are some of them.
Mark Caguioa and Jayjay Helterbrand (ACCEL, Reebok)
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Some six or seven years ago, you probably saw Mark Caguioa rock a pair of classic Reebok sneakers on the hardwood.
The 2012 Most Valuable Player had a deal with the English brand, which began around 2010.
The long-time face of Ginebra had himself a serious rotation of retros back then. From Allen Iverson’s Answer line to Shaquille O’Neal’s Shaq Attaq, to the Kamikaze, and to the eye-catching Blast, he had it.
That Reebok deal came after his partnership with Accel came to an end. It was with the Filipino brand where he had a signature shoe, the MC47.
Caguioa actually posted a photo of that pair on Instagram back in 2016 and said that he played his best games wearing those shoes.
And some of his fans still haven’t forgotten his and Jayjay Helterbrand’s run with Accel. They even called for the re-release of the shoe when the news broke out that Thompson will have his own sneaker with World Balance.
Terrence Romeo (PEAK)
Terrence Romeo began his partnership with PEAK back in 2016, becoming the first Filipino to endorse the Chinese sporting giant.
And the following year, the former three-time scoring champion became one of the brand’s signature athletes with the launch of TR 1.
That put in the same breath as Tony Parker, Dwight Howard, and Matthew Dellavedova. All these NBA stars have their own shoe line with PEAK, which also happens to be one of the PBA’s partners.
The former Far Eastern University star has plenty of memories wearing his own shoe, but none of them are sweeter than finally winning his first PBA championship with San Miguel in the 2019 Philippine Cup.
He immediately won his second title in the Commissioner’s Cup of that same season, where he was adjudged as the PBA Press Corps Finals MVP with norms of 14.83 points, 4.3 assists, and 2.3 rebounds in six games.
And yes, Romeo was wearing the TR 1 on the way to that huge career achievement — the platinum white TR 1, to be exact.
Information regarding his second shoe remains scarce, although photos have circulated online that it might be on its way.
Trevis Jackson (Converse)
Converse made its way back into the performance basketball scene early in 2019 by launching the All Star Pro BB.
It was released in the United States around May, but the shoe was not scheduled to hit local shores until later that year. Still, Meralco rookie Trevis Jackson already had a pair — and wore them in game.
The Bolts’ fifth overall pick in the 2018 draft was the first to sport the shoe in the country. And it was hard not to notice, as the model greatly complemented his team’s kits with its shades of bright orange.
Jackson then bannered the official relaunch in November of 2019, where the ‘Flames’ colorway of the All Star Pro BB was unveiled.
The Fil-Am guard out of Sacramento State remains very much a part of the Converse family, which recently welcomed NLEX rookie Dave Murrell as part of their All Stars campaign.
The brand, which has been owned by Nike since 2003, has been known to pick PBA players to endorse its shoes. Legends Allan Caidic, Vergel Meneses, and Samboy Lim were its endorsees back in the 1990s.
Carl Cruz, Abu Tratter (PUMA)
Puma returned to basketball in 2018 after nearly two decades. It did not take long for the German brand to make its comeback known by strengthening its presence globally — including here in the Philippines.
Back in June of 2019, the brand widened its crop of endorsers by adding young PBA players Carl Bryan Cruz and Abu Tratter.
Cruz was just in his third season in the pros with Alaska back then but he already made a name for himself as part of Gilas Pilipinas under Coach Chot Reyes. Meanwhile, Tratter was only in his rookie year with Blackwater.
The two have since been wearing PUMA models proudly, such as the Clyde Court Disrupt, the Clyde Hardwood, the Legacy ’68, to name a few.
The brand continues its efforts to become constantly visible in the local hoops scene. Back in March, PUMA became the official outfitter of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup after initially serving as sponsor to MJAS Zenith-Talisay City.