Jayson Castro hoping 'Agimat' will indeed bring Gilas luck in World Cup qualifier vs Australia 
Jayson Castro takes the LeBron Soldier 12 Agimat for a spin with scribes (from left) Delfin Dioquino of Rappler, the writer, and Cedelf Tupas of The Inquirer. Marlo Cueto

NIKE Basketball on Friday will release the limited-edition LeBron Soldier 12 Agimat in select stores in the Philippines.

The newest Filipino-inspired shoe will be available with limited pairs available at Nike Park Fort, Glorietta 4, Mall of Asia, and Trinoma, as well as Titan TwoParkade, Vertis, Conrad, and Titan22.com. The shoe retails at P6,745.

The shoe with the line ‘Mula Mandirigma Sa Mandirgma’ features local cultural elements including the letters MNL found on the shoe as a shoutout to the players in Manila. A blazing flame stands for volcanoes in the Philippines and a steep mountain is also found on the shoe.

While the shoe will be released on Friday, several events have already been held by Nike Basketball to introduce the shoe including last week where PBA players Jason Castro, LA Tenorio, Chris Newsome, and Paul Lee, and mediamen tried out the LeBron Soldier 12 Agimat at the Nike Hypercourt in Taguig City through 3x3 matches.

The PBA stars raved about the shoe.

While previous LeBron releases have been generalized as a shoe for bigs, Castro said the new LeBron Solider 12 Agimat can also be used by guards.

“Parang puwede pang-guard talaga,” said Castro. “Before ‘yung mga LeBron, more on for forward at bigs. This time, parang ‘yung mga LeBron, kaya isuot ng guard.”

Tenorio shared the sentiment as he underlined the comfort in shifting directions when using the Agimat.

“It’s very comfortable for me as a point guard. ‘Yung ang pinakaimportante sa akin is really ‘yung pag-change ng direction. Hindi ako nagdadalawang isip na gawin ‘yun consistently,” Tenorio said.

Newsome has been wearing LeBrons since his days with Ateneo, and he is also impressed with the new Agimat shoe.

“It’s one of my favorite shoe because it fits my style of play. I’m an explosive player. I do a lot of sharp cuts and jumping,” Newsome said.


Newsome also likes the cushions the Agimat possesses to limit the impact when playing as well as the comfort in wearing the shoe.

“You can barely feel the impact because the shoe has a lot of cushioning on it. For me, that’s a big feature. You talk about longevity of your career, you need to have a cushion that will take away the impact on your knees,” said the Meralco guard.

“For me, not having laces, it really feels secured on my foot. I don’t want my foot moving around or anything like that. I feel like the straps do a good job of keeping it locked in. This one, I can probably play it a full game without taking it off so it says a lot on how comfortable it is,” Newsome said.

Castro said he plans to use his new pair of Agimat if he gets a shot at playing in the Fiba Basketball World Cup qualifiers later this month.

“Eto ‘yung gagamitin ko especially sa game this coming Fiba kasi bagay na bagay sa uniform ‘yung Agimat. Baka suwertehin,” said Castro.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports