After a wildly successful first season, the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) has now expanded from 10 teams to 26 to begin its second season. 26 teams also means 26 different team names.
Not all monikers are created equal, however. Some are great, while others could do better. The best team names are usually creative, unique, and catchy. But in line with the MPBL’s mission to promote hometown pride for its fans and players, special credit was given for teams who were able to properly incorporate these characteristics together with local elements into their team names.
Without further ado, here are the five best team monikers in the MPBL.
Marikina is known as the shoe capital of the Philippines, so it was only fitting to have their basketball team carry the torch in promoting what the city is known for. The name also fits well into a basketball team given how much basketball culture, more than any other sport, is shaped by the shoes worn by the players on the court. It would be cool to see if the team would provide Marikina-made shoes for their players or if some shoe manufacturers use the players as endorsers. The Shoemasters already have Gerald Anderson on their roster, after all.
Instead of looking elsewhere for inspiration, the Makati Skyscrapers decided to double down on their identity by their team after the towering office buildings that define the Makati skyline. Since city centers aren’t normally known for culture and art, you wouldn’t think that the most prominent central business center in the country could come up with a nice city-related team name. But for some reason, the Skyscrapers moniker just works. Maybe it’s because former PBA and MPBL player Marlou Aquino was known as “The Skyscraper.” Perhaps it’s because high-flying basketball players are sometimes described as able to touch the sky, similar to actual skyscrapers.
Naming its team as the Heroes in a league that promotes local pride and culture was a smart move from the Laguna team management. Laguna is where our national hero, Jose Rizal, was born after all. The name also matches perfectly with a sports team because, in many ways, athletes also serve as heroes to many of their fans, especially children.
Pampanga is known for many things, but perhaps only their food can rival the popularity of its annual lantern festival. Lanterns from Pampanga (or parols) are known to be big, bright, and as grand as anything else in the world. The team hopes that its players can also light up the scoreboard and bring joy to the people much like real lanterns do.
Imus played a central role in the Philippines’ independence from Spain, and it is only fitting that they used a moniker that paid homage to Philippine history. Bandera (flag) also works in the context of a basketball team because they can be described as the city’s flag-bearers heading into battle. The team gets extra credit for using a Filipino word for their name.