MANILA, Philippines -- The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons on Wednesday announced that it has extended its partnership with Januarius Holdings, Inc. (JHI) and STATS Performance Apparel for two more seasons.
The companies will continue to support the team for Seasons 83 and 84.
JHI chairman and chief executive officer JJ Atencio has been bankrolling the Fighting Maroons' training camps in Las Vegas, Serbia, and Tokyo in 2017, 2018, and 2019 respectively.
This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has ruled out overseas trips for the Fighting Maroons, but Atencio said the company is still including advanced training as part of their plan.
"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’s just coming out of a lackluster season, the absence of significant community support, and my not even being a UP alumnus," Atencio recalled.
"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, isn't it?" he added.
Atencio, a graduate of Ateneo de Manila University, believes he has a mission with the Fighting Maroons that is not yet done.
"While the team has accomplished a lot these past years, the work isn’t finished yet. That dream continues to unfold," he said.
"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," he added.
Atencio believes that UP's training camp abroads have been a game-changer for the program. They placed fifth in 2017, had a historic runner-up finish in 2018, then earned the second seed in 2019 before falling to upstart University of Santo Tomas in the Final 4.
Because of this, Atencio made it clear that their company is "committed to sending the team for training abroad in Seasons 83 and 84 as soon as it's possible."
Aside from providing the team with outfits and doubling down on their commitment to send the Maroons abroad for training, Atencio announced that JHI are providing the Maroons with data analytics technology.
"What's also exciting for us starting this year is analytics," said Atencio. "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."
UP head coach Bo Perasol expressed his gratitude to Atencio, saying the moral support he has given to the Fighting Maroons "is priceless."
"JJ is like a father or a brother to the players and us coaches. His kindness and faith in the team truly inspires us," he said.
Atencio and Perasol were present in the signing of the memorandum of agreement, along with team manager Atty. Agaton Uvero, nowheretogobutUP Foundation founder Renan Dalisay, JHI chief operating officer Marcy Venezuela, and STATS chief executive Edrin Panganiban.