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Ben Phillips DLSU

UAAP’s Best Dressed: What Inspires Ben Phillips’ Outfits?

It isn’t just about optics for Ben Phillips. His outfits are a representation of who he is as a player and as an individual.

Anyone who’s been keeping a close watch on this UAAP season’s men’s basketball tournament might have noticed that one player consistently shows up to games dressed in outfits a little bit more formal than the rest: Ben Phillips.

Over the last few UAAP seasons, the current Team Captain of the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers has become known for walking out of his team’s bus wearing suits, neckties, newsboy hats, loafers — you get the picture. He turns the Mall of Asia Arena and Araneta Coliseum tunnels into his own personal runway.

But, when it comes to Ben’s outfits, what may appear as “flashy” is actually very intentional. Reflecting on his game-day persona in his final playing year for DLSU, he tells The GAME about what inspires him to turn every match into a reason to dress up.

The GAME Tunnel Vision: Ben Phillips Outfits
Dressed with intention

When it comes to his inspiration for his intricately chosen outfits for every game day, Ben Phillips shares, “That comes from my father, who told me when I was a kid that every man needs to have a dress coat and nice shoes because you never know who you’re going to run into, who you’re going to meet. Because you’re a basketball player, you also need to be more than that. You need to be a scholar and a businessman.”

The GAME Tunnel Vision: Ben Phillips Outfits
The GAME Tunnel Vision: Ben Phillips Outfits

Ben was able to practice this mindset early on. As a high school basketball player in the United States, the Green Archer explained that his team would play home and away games, and whenever they would go on the road to compete, their team would have to wear ties and dress pants. Doing so would put him in the right mindset to compete.

“That already kind of started it for me,” he says. “For me, I see this as work. Basketball is work, so it’s like just another day in the office. It might come across as arrogance, but that’s just who I am. That’s what I do.

“This is part of my everyday. This is my work, and I’m showing up to work, and this is my work outfit.”

Ben’s favorite outfits of the season

Just because Ben Phillips always makes an effort to put on his Sunday Best for game days doesn’t mean that he doesn’t know how to rock different looks every now and then. In fact, one of his favorite outfits from this season was an athleisure look.

“The matching pink one is one of my favorites right now on the leisure side,” he shared.

The GAME Tunnel Vision: Ben Phillips Outfits

On the side of the more professional-looking outfits, he also has his favorite. “I just got a new suit before the start of the season. It was a three-piece double-breasted suit… Have you ever seen the movie Kingsman? I finally got one and that’s my favorite now.”

Personal touches

Like all of Ben Phillips’ outfit choices, every piece is very intentional and has meaning behind it. The same goes for the details in all his looks, whether it’s his sunglasses, hats, or watches, and when we asked him what his favorite accessory is, he had two very personal answers.

“It would have to be my cross necklace. It has Philippians 4:11–13, which says, ‘I can do all things through Christ.’ My father gave me and my two brothers this, it was our Christmas gift, and so we all wear it together.

“It’s not really an accessory and it’s usually hidden. I also have a ring from my late grandfather, whom I’m named after; my dad is Benjamin II and I’m the third. It’s a gold ring that has ‘Benjamin’ on it…He’s the original Benjamin who started playing basketball for the Phillips family. That kind of keeps me grounded and keeps me tied down.”

As it turns out, Ben Phillips was not just the guy in the UAAP who just so happened to own the most suits. Every outfit was put together with intention and even when it came down to the accessories, all his pieces were something representative of who he is both on and off the court.

Images by Vyn Radovan

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