GILAS Pilipinas got the most fitting send off from Nike after receiving the new LeBron 14 Agimat ahead of the 2017 Seabal Championship in Manila on Friday.
The new LeBron design, inspired by our very own culture of myth and magic, could serve as the hosts' very own lucky charm heading into their battle for basketbal supremacy in Southeast Asia.
The traditional agimat, or amulet, was used by old Filipino warriors for safe passage and good fortune.
The same can be said now for the modern-day basketball warriors who will be representing the country in the regional qualifier for the Fiba Asia Cup set to be held in Lebanon this August.
"First impression ko? Very detailed. Talagang customized para sa Filipino warrior," said Gilas wingman Allein Maliksi.
"Yung Agimat kasi talaga, it's part of our culture e. May nakasulat pa na 'Para sa Kadakilaan' na parang, yun yung mga naging sacrifices mo, especially ngayon para Gilas Pilipinas," he added.
For forward Troy Rosario, it's just surreal to see a Filipino touch in the signature line of LeBron James.
Not only were the shoes inspired by Filipino culture, there were also Filipino words emblazoned in it, alongside the letters MNL (for Manila) in its shoe tongue.
"Unang tingin ko palang sa sapatos, talagang maganda na e. Sa materials palang na ginamit, first time kong makakita sa Nike na shoes na nakasulat Tagalog," Rosario said.
"Nakaka-proud na ginamit yung Tagalog sa sapatos ng isa sa pinakamagaling na players sa NBA," he added.
Overall, the team is just thankful that Nike had something customized for them as they prepare for countries willing to do everything to atleast have a chance of taking the Philippines down.
"Isipin mo customized to for us. Tapos yung ibang countries wala so it's a big thing for us," said Maliksi. "Since sobrang passionate ng mga Filipino sa basketball, sobrang nakaka-proud na may ganito tayo."