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Sports

Love on the court

SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson - The Philippine Star

There’s a new place for basketball enthusiasts to converge right in the heart of Bonifacio Global City and Titan calls it the Love Court. It’s no surprise that Titan is involved in this latest venture. Titan is, after all, devoted to hoops as the first and only basketball specialty concept store in the country, founded in 2010 by a syndicate of owners including PBA legend Jeff Cariaso, Dennis Tan and Raoul Reinoso. The group now operates nine stores, four with barber shops to cater to guys who like to talk hoops while getting trims, cuts and shaves.

Over a week ago, Titan opened the Love Court to the public, a sort of like a Rucker Park magnet for players of all ages, regardless of size, gender, affiliation or level of ability. The nets, however, are made of nylon, not chains which are usual fare in US inner city concrete playgrounds. Since the inauguration, the Love Court has been a busy venue with ballers showing up for pick-up games, particularly during peak time from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. It’s open from 6 a.m. to 12 midnight, seven days a week, so players can easily fit their schedules. 

Specifically, the Love Court is located on the corner of 32nd Street and 9th Avenue. It features two regulation-sized basketball courts that Titan senior marketing manager Migs Rocha describes as perfect for outdoor play in the summer. “The courts are installed with a proprietary 5-coat acrylic sports surface system, providing for non-slip, quick-dry surfaces that show Titan’s signature colors of red, white, black and a touch of gold,” says Rocha.

At the moment, Titan has a three-month contract to use the BGC space for the Love Court but the lease is likely to be extended because of the overwhelming public response to the place. Kiefer Ravena, Bobby Ray Parks and Paolo Hubalde have come around to test the floor. PBA players JuneMar Fajardo, Joe De Vance, Jared Dillinger, Stanley Pringle, Gabe Norwood, Simon Enciso and Kevin Alas have visited, too, to check out the premises.

Titan recently held the Summer Jam 17U and 13U tournaments at the Love Court with Topex Robinson and Mike Gamboa coaching. It’s also where the Under Armour Basketball Clinics conducted by coach Louie Gonzalez, Christian Luanzon, Asi Taulava and Eddie Laure are being held. More events are lined up in the coming months.

Rocha says Titan was inspired by the game’s legends and all-time greats to conceptualize the Love Court. “It will serve as a second home to those who set foot between its lines,” he says. “It offers its own unique charm and character right from the jump – tall city buildings that shield the courts from the high afternoon sun or even the hottest of days, unpredictable southeast winds that alter your shots and challenge even the greatest of shooters and an unforgiving pace of play that favors the fastest and quickest of players.”

What makes the Love Court extra special is it gathers the basketball community in a site where passion for the game is the sole common denominator. “Those who live, work, play and learn in the city share the same excitement and love for basketball,” adds Rocha.

Those interested to play at the Love Court and participate in its events may sign up for membership at www.titan22.com/lovecourt and follow @titanlovecourt on Instagram. It’s easy to become a member. Visit the website, download the mobile app (available on iOS and Android handsets), sign up and choose from two membership options. A full membership of P2,200 provides total access to the Love Court with a reversible jersey top, shorts and a limited edition tee to take home. The full membership period is up to July 22. Full members get a chance to participate in whatever open sessions, skills and conditioning training, members’ only leagues and mini-tournaments are scheduled. The second option of a limited membership of P1,000 provides 12 passes to the Love Court and a limited edition tee. That means a 30-day access to activities on a 12-pass basis. Members gain access to Free Play, Group Play, Training Sessions, Trial Runs, tournaments and other special events by booking a play session via the mobile app.

Even the NBA has taken notice of Titan’s niche and recently brought legend Glen Rice to the BGC store where he was the focus of media interviews to celebrate Filipino Heritage Week in the league. Not surprisingly, Titan was tapped by the NBA to execute a design for the Filipino Heritage Week tee which was a top seller in Miami and the Golden State Warriors’ home Oracle Arena. Titan stores are a showcase of basketball footwear, apparel and accessories with a wide range of brands from Nike to Adidas to Under Armour. 

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