MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine women’s football team may have seen some setbacks in their recent 32nd Southeast Asian Games campaign, but there are many reasons why they are still holding their heads up high.
Optimism is flowing throughout the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) heading towards the Filipinas’ maiden FIFA Women’s World Cup appearance – with a fresh look.
Renowned sports apparel company adidas, which signed an agreement with the PFF last February, recently unveiled the Filipinas’ new threads.
Taking inspiration from the nation’s tricolors, adidas named the kits in Tagalog: blue home kits “Sipag at Tiyaga” (hard work and dedication); white road kits “Ang Bagong Yugto” (new chapter); and red alternates “Alab ng Puso” (fiery passion).
Goalkeepers Olivia McDaniel and Inna Palacios also modeled their green and yellow kits.
“We finally have women’s fit jerseys… it’s really nice, really different,” said Filipinas co-captain Hali Long.
“Even in the past campaigns we wore adidas kits. I think these will be the best fitting ones for us, they feel the most tailored, unique, I would say,” she added.
Amid the sweltering May heat in the middle of an urban jungle, adidas and the PFF staged a fashion show at the BGC Amphitheater, Bonifacio High Street in Taguig last Tuesday, May 16.
Many pieces of apparel were on display, including caps, tote bags, and t-shirts bearing the Filipinas’ brand identity.
However, the highlight of the night were the players themselves – strutting down the catwalk brandishing the new Filipinas jerseys to be used for the World Cup.
Fans cheered the members of the Filipinas, who shared they tried to copy the models’ moves during rehearsals.
“The first time that we saw the players’ kits, they have a very nice feel, they’re very comfy,” said forward Chandler McDaniel.
“I like the shorts, I think they’re overall very comfy. We were not sure about what the designs were going to be, we were super excited to see. I really like them.”
According to adidas country manager Anthony Frangos, reservations for the kits shall start tentatively on June 12, Independence Day.
Pricing will be consistent with the other countries’ kits adidas has been selling.
The kits took months to be revealed since it had to be approved by FIFA, said a high-ranking PFF official.
Kits will be first made available at the adidas Brand Center Glorietta in Makati, before being made available online and worldwide through Bootcamp.
The uniforms will be used starting in their friendlies and World Cup buildup, before a redesign after two years, said Frangos.
The Filipinas went home last week after failing to replicate a semifinal appearance and bronze finish due to an inferior goal difference against Myanmar.
“We didn’t start off exactly the way we wanted to but I thought that we showed a lot of adversity and character and we pushed through and got the next two results,” said Chandler McDaniel, who made a successful return from a torn ACL.
The Philippines absorbed a tough loss against Myanmar, narrowly escaped Malaysia, and gave eventual champion Vietnam its lone loss of the tournament to go home on a positive note.
“[We’re] definitely going to take this experience, put it under our belts and use it to better ourselves for the upcoming stuff and it’ll definitely help in our World Cup push and the journey to that,” added McDaniel.
According to team manager Jefferson Cheng, the team will have some training camps in the Oceania region leading up to the tournament from July 20 to August 20.
The Filipinas will see action in Group A of the World Cup, along with co-host New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland.
The top two teams in the group will advance to the knockout stage.
Also in the pipeline are the postponed Asian Games and the second round of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. – Rappler.com
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