UP Fighting Blondes.
When the University of the Philippines Women’s Basketball team played its first game in UAAP Season 86, they all sported blonde hair.
And no, this is more than just a desire to change their hair color.
Shortly after their impressive 92-61 opening weekend statement win over Adamson University on Sunday, team captain Justine Domingo explained the reasoning behind their radiant appearance.
“Actually, very spontaneous po itong hair color. For sure, sa ibang tao weird or surprising ito na bakit ganito? Nagrerebelde ba ang UP? No,” shared Domingo, playing in her final year.
“For us, it has a deeper meaning. It shows togetherness sa team po namin,” she continued.
“We agreed and we committed na ito po yung hair. I hope na nagandahan po kayo sa amin at nagustuhan niyo naman po yung kulay ng buhok namin.”
After being at the bottom of the league for many seasons, UP displayed significant improvement in Season 85, narrowly missing a Final Four spot with a 6-8 win-loss record.
This year, they aim to reach the semifinals for the first time since Season 71 (2008).
If the first game is any indication, the Fighting Maroons have a strong lineup, as demonstrated by five players scoring in double figures against the Lady Falcons.
Domingo led the charge for UP with 17 points, eight rebounds, and four assists.
“Kahit ako po yung captain ball, it’s not about me, this is not my team. This is our team,” said the Season 80 Rookie of the Year.
“Everyone is a key player, everyone is skilled and talented kaya po sobrang confident po ako sa team namin and even our coaching staff na ito na po yung team na binuo namin ever since pandemic.”
What’s even more impressive is that the Fighting Maroons defeated Adamson despite not having Louna Ozar, their prized rookie, who is currently competing in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China with Gilas Women.
When Ozar finally makes her UAAP debut, you can expect her to be blonde as well.