The 36th PBA season starts on October 3. To celeberate the Philippine’s premiere athletic league, it’s time Rooktopia takes a look at one of the most intriguing aspects of the PBA: the logos. There were a lot of changes this year, so even if you’ve been following the PBA in the past, there might be a few surprises in store for you.
Air 21 Express – This is the template for all PBA logos, i.e. basically a 5 minute project using WordArt. Not even the new WordArt — the one that was available on Windows for Workgroups 3.11. What kills me about PBA logos is that most anyone with basic artistic acumen can imagine a better logo. Like, why is “Air 21” to the left when it could be located more centrally? Anyway, this is probably the slowest looking basketball ever drawn, and yes I know there are jet engines on it… which don’t seem to be rated to carry the payload of such a big ball. Also, why is it also on fire? Did the jet-ball get shot down? Grade: D+.
Alaska Aces: Alaska is in the Philippines? Well, like everything, it’s named after a company. But I can’t hate this logo. For once, it looks like the logo of an actual sports team rather than something you’d find on flyer stapled to a telephone pole somewhere. Good job, Aces. Grade: A.
Barako Energy Coffee Masters: At least when this team was called “Red Bull,” calling ’em the Bulls wouldn’t be goofy. But “The Masters”? Plus, at any point when you look at that logo, do you see a sports team, let alone a basketball team? I wouldn’t be surprised if they just traced the logo straight off the energy drink can. No one’s ever going to accuse you of effort, Red Bull Corporation. Grade: D.
Powerade Tigers – While this is easily one more professionally developed and eye-catching of the PBA logos (and recently upgraded since the team name changed from the far more domestic sounding “Coca-Cola Tigers”), the artist clearly has been playing too much Final Fantasy. The blue tiger, in fact, looks pretty much like one of the Summons. A Summons made out of Powerade, judging from the excess of fluid at the bottom of the logo. Grade: B.
Barangay Ginebra Kings – From the school of “let’s have a basketball with something stuck on it.” This time, it’s a crown, which for some reason resembles the one you get a Burger King when you order the Kid’s Meal. As a result, despite not having a face or any anthropomorphic features, that ball can’t help but look really, really smug. Grade: C.
Derby Ace Llamados – What is a “Llamados”? It sounds like some sort of awesome mutant camel creature. But no, it’s not. The most likely Google search came up with was “phone call.” Drat. Well, count your blessings, “Llamados.” First of all, that’s actually the least embarrassing phone-related team name in the PBA. Secondly, previous team names were a veritable grocery aisle: “Purefood Hotdogs,” “Coney Island Ice Cream Stars,” “Purefood Corned Beef Cowboys,” and the “Tender Juicy Giants.” As for that logo, I have no idea what that vitamin-sounding “B-Meg” oval is doing there, or why there’s an amputated chicken’s foot. Grade: D+.
Meralco Bolts – Ah, a rare upgrade. The Bolts had, once upon a time, been called the Sta. Lucia Realtors. The concept of electricity is a much better sport’s name inspiration than people selling you houses. Zig-zaggy lines are pretty much de rigeur for teams named after electricity. The Bolts logo is somewhere above the WNBA’s Tulsa Shock and below the San Diego Chargers. Overall, not a terrible effort. Grade: B+.
Rain Or Shine Elasto Painters – The rain is well represented in this logo, showing up like one of those cute icons on the Weather Channel that remind you to pack an umbrella to work today. But what’s up with it’s “Shine” counterpart? A flaming basketball? Did the forecast call for brimstone? Still, despite the attempt to make painting seem like extreme sports, it’s still an incredibly lame logo. Grade: D+.
San Miguel Beermen – I admit to having a special affection for this team name. It’s the kind of name that’s so goofy you sort of fall in love with it. I could do without the 3-D rendered logo, though. It looks like something you slapped onto a superhero comic in the 70’s and 80’s. Also, again with the flames … which, I’m pretty sure, has little to do with beer. This is the third logo with a basketball immolated in flame, which makes me wonder if the rubber material in the Philippines is some substandard material laced with magnesium. Grade: B-.
Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters – What, just a guy with a giant peeled orange in his hand? Booooorrrrinnnnggg. He’s not even that exciting or a guy, either, unlike the one featured in the earlier version of the team with the much lamer name: The Phone Pals. OK, he looks like a stereotypical 1990’s X-Treme baller, but at least he had character. The one for the Texters (which really should probably be updated to “Facebookers” or “Tweeters” or “Social Networkers”) looks like they grabbed a silhouette of a dude hailing a cab. Grade: C-.