FINDING something common in it as a company, 3M Philippines has decided to come on board the University of the Philippines (UP) men’s basketball team’s push to get back on top of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) anew by becoming one of its sponsors for the upcoming season.
In ceremonies held at the Quezon Hall in UP Diliman on Tuesday, officials of 3M and UP and members of the Nowhere To Go But UP Foundation, Inc. formally signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) welcoming the multinational company as a partner.
All parties hailed the newly inked partnership as something that would go a long way in UP’s quest to regain the glory days of the Fighting Maroons.
“More than the financial support, I think what this partnership does is give us a huge confidence knowing that a multinational company like 3M believes in us and willing to give its support. It only strengthens our belief that we can do it,” said UP coach Bo Perasol during the MoU signing.
On the part of 3M, partnering with UP is but a logical move since it sees a lot of common points with the institution as an organization, foremost of which is striving for excellence and improvement.
“3M has over 91,000 employees. It is a melting pot of smart, motivated people. We have an inclusive culture that fosters collaboration between curious minds. Minds like what this university nurtures,” said Ariel Lacsamana, president and managing director of 3M Philippines, of their partnership with UP.
“We are excited and energized to be supporting and be part of something big like university basketball. We believe that the UP men’s basketball team is talent worth investing in. We’re very happy to make this happen,” added UP alumnus Lacsamana even as he said that the partnership was just start of their involvement in local sports and that they would continue evaluating their options moving forward.
Just as they welcomed the support of 3M Philippines, UP President Danilo Concepcion issued a challenge to the Fighting Maroons to prove that they are worth the support being given them by willing partners.
“If we do well our sponsors would be more inspired to rally behind us. We have to continue working and strive to be better,” said Mr. Concepcion in the vernacular while also expressing his wish that the Fighting Maroons get to bring back the UAAP trophy to the school under his term as president.
Last year in Season 80 of the UAAP, the Fighting Maroons narrowly missed the Final Four with a 6-8 record, good for fifth place.
They are setting higher goals for Season 81 with a souped-up lineup that now includes prized recruits Bright Akhuetie (formerly of the Perpetual Help Altas in the National Collegiate Athletic Association) and NCAA Juniors most valuable player Will Gozum joining holdovers like Paul Desiderio, Jun Manzo and Juan and Javi Gomez de Liano.
UP has also prepared well for the future after getting Gilas Pilipinas cadet Ricci Rivero and young big man GBoy Gob from La Salle. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo