As rising stars looking to prove themselves, it’s no surprise that these UAAP players are looking up to these NBA teams.
The Philippines is one of the NBA’s biggest markets around the world. In fact, even the league’s players themselves understand how much Filipinos love basketball. And now that the NBA is back for a new season, nearly everyone in the country is looking forward to a new chapter of highs and lows and all the in-betweens for the next several months — we know that the UAAP basketball players surely are.
The GAME asked some of the UAAP Season 86 men’s basketball players which teams they were rooting for this NBA season. Here’s what they had to say.
Rooting for the Nuggets: Kevin Quiambao (DLSU)
The Denver Nuggets made history when they became NBA champions and UAAP Season 86 MVP frontrunner Kevin Quiambao will be hoping to see them defend their title this season. The Nuggets will definitely be a tough contender as the defending champs — perhaps their performances will inspire KQ to continue recording high numbers to claim the MVP crown himself.
San Antonio Spurs
Rooting for the Spurs: Ben Phillips (DLSU), Xyrus Torres (FEU)
The San Antonio Spurs are surely going to get a lot of attention this season, especially with rookie sensation Victor Wembanyama on their side. Ben Phillips and Xyrus Torres are two UAAP players we know will be excited to see how Wemby’s energy pushes the team throughout the season.
“Ever since I was a kid I watched the Spurs kasi my favorite player was Tim Duncan. So now that they have Wemby, it’s insane to watch what he is doing to pros and all-star players. It doesn’t even seem real,” Ben Phillips shared with The GAME.
Rooting for the Bucks: Jake Figueroa (NU), Mason Amos (ADMU)
Though they are entering the new season without one of their former key players, Jrue Holiday, the Milwaukee Bucks are expected to boast a strong offense, especially with their new star Damian Lillard ready to put on the Bucks jersey. With two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks’ scoring will be tough to stop, and UAAP rising stars Jake Figueroa and Mason Amos will be hoping to see them make it far into the playoffs with this asset.
Rooting for the Suns: CJ Cansino (UP), Harold Alarcon (UP), Chicco Briones (UP), Cholo Anonuevo (FEU)
It seems like several of the UP Fighting Maroons have something in common: they will be cheering on the Phoenix Suns this NBA season. UAAP player Chicco Briones shared with The GAME that they are his favorite team because of one of his basketball idols, Devin Booker, one of the NBA’s best scorers who will likely continue dropping big bags of points for the Suns this season.
Golden State Warriors
Rooting for the Warriors: Aldous Torcullas (UP), CJ Cansino (UP), Chris Koon (ADMU)
Yes, a lot of Filipino fans have multiple NBA teams they support and UAAP star CJ Cansino is one of them. This season, he will be rooting for both the Phoenix Suns and the Golden State Warriors. Lucky for him, he got to see both his favorite teams right away, as the two faced each other in the 2023-2024 season opener. No matter the outcome, it would have been a win for Cansino, but the Suns took the first-game victory.
Los Angeles Lakers
Rooting for the Lakers: Earl Abadam (DLSU), Jonnel Policarpio (DLSU), Royce Alforque (FEU)
Filipinos love the Los Angeles Lakers, and thus, there had to be some fan representatives in the UAAP. This season, Lakers fans have a lot to watch out for. Will LeBron’s age start to show? Can Anthony Davis stay healthy? Will Austin Reaves be able to take his game to a new level to step up for his team? Though the answers remain to be seen, one thing is for sure: we are in for an exciting season.
Will you and your favorite UAAP stars be rooting for the same NBA team this season?
Banner images by Vyn Radovan.