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MANILA, Philippines — With the FIBA World Cup in the Philippines just around the corner, Filipino basketball fans are in for another exciting treat as global sports brand Nike recently opened its newest basketball courts in Bonifacio Global City —The Courtyard.
Aiming to provide a safe space for the next generation of ballers, the 2,182-square meter Courtyard features two FIBA-regulation sized basketball courts made of rubber derived from the outsoles of about 30,000 pairs of recycled shoes dubbed “Nike Grind.”
The new playing venue is located at the corner of 26th Street and 7th Avenue, the site of the old Mercato Centrale night market.
Aside from the two sustainable full-sized courts, the sprawling facility designed by homegrown artist Kiefer Indiongco also features a half-court on the side, which serves as a training zone for all players.
“The hope is that every baller who steps onto the court will feel a sense of identity, and they will feel proud to be a Filipino baller,” said Indiongco, also known as Kiefsix.
Starting on Sunday, August 6, ballers who want to show off their wares at The Courtyard can register and book their slots using the Nike app for free.
As part of brand’s worldwide commitment to the growth of the women’s basketball game, the court will be allotting Tuesday and Thursday nights exclusively to female ballers.
Per Nike Philippines’ country marketing manager Jino Ferrer, the 6 to 10 pm time slots twice a week will be exclusively devoted to them for a chance to hone their skills.
“Here in the Philippines, we understand that there’s still an inequality on how overall we support women in sports. As a brand, we feel that our responsibility to be one of the catalysts of that,” Ferrer pointed out.
“That’s just one step for us to basically continue to let the female ballers know that we’re supporting them, giving them space and a platform to help grow their community.”
During the launch event of The Courtyard — four of the finest female basketball players in the country — Khate Castillo, Camille Clarin, Angel Surada, and Marga Jimenez captained their respective teams in a 4×4 halfcourt tournament.
Teams featured a mixture of Nike athletes, members of the media, and social media personalities for a chance to be crowned inaugural tournament champions.
Led by the sharpshooting Castillo and UP Fighting Maroons point guard Gerry Abadiano, Team Khate completed a thrilling come-from-behind win against Team Angel in the finals, 16-13, to capture the first Courtyard crown.
Castillo and Abadiano were backstopped by female athletes Kat Tan and Nicole Cancio, musician Mong Alcaraz, social media content creators Patrick Edrozo and Joey Puno.
Rounding out the team are journalists Migs Bustos and Randy Caluag, as well as the two authors of this article.
Abadiano’s fellow Fighting Maroon Terrence Fortea, meanwhile, carried the fight for Team Angel, together with social media influencers LA Aguinaldo and Patricia Henson, among others.
The brand also launched its local campaign for both Gilas Men’s and Women’s teams dubbed “Defy Today, Define Tomorrow,” just in time for the FIBA World Cup co-hosted by the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia later this month.
With numerous Nike endorsers headed to Manila for the group and final phases of the global basketball tournament, Ferrer says there will be numerous events to be held at the area.
“We intentionally launched The Courtyard together with our Gilas campaign,” said Ferrer. “The intention is to do multiple events leading up to the start of the tournament (World Cup), which is August 25 up to September 10.”