MANILA, Philippines — The Hotshots franchise, which has been known by a variety of names over the years, began a new chapter in their history on Monday.
Starting the 2017-18 season of the Philippine Basketball Association, the squad will now be known as the Magnolia Hotshots.
Magnolia was previously part of the PBA in the 2007-08 season, when they briefly took over the historic San Miguel Beer franchise. The team was known as the Magnolia Beverage Masters.
Their re-entry into the PBA is a way for the Magnolia brand to reconnect to a younger demographic, according to San Miguel Foods Inc. President Rita Imelda Palabyab.
“Magnolia is a heritage brand, but it does not resonate with young people the way we want to,” she explained in a press conference on Monday at the Ynares Sports Center.
“This is the way that we’re reaching out to young people,” added Palabyab.
The change in name also puts focus on the Magnolia Chicken as a brand, with the players being tabbed as the “Pambansang Manok” during Monday’s event.
The team is hoping that they change will augur a new era of success for the Hotshots, who have not won a PBA title since completing a Grand Slam in the 2014 season.
“Challenge ito for the team, because every time nag-switch ng name, nagcha-champion,” said team manager and PBA icon Alvin Patrimonio.
“But it will be an exciting season again with a new logo and a new team name,” he added.
The new PBA season opens on December 17.