Dan Palami, a businessman who backs the Philippine national men’s football team, will become an active supporter of the University of the Philippines basketball program starting this year.
Palami has been appointed as the head representative of an alumni volunteer group which helps raise funds for the Fighting Maroons, UP College of Human Kinetics Dean Ronualdo Dizer told InterAksyon.com on Tuesday.
“Ang role (ng alumni) is to augment the limited budget of the UP Maroons basketball team. Napagdesisyunan nilang mag-monitor ng team ay si Dan Palami. He is the head of the UP alumni boosters,” he said.
Palami, who earned an accountancy degree and law credits from UP, is the owner of Autre Porte Global Inc., a railways company involved in the maintenance and operations of various mass transport systems in Manila.
Apart from being the chief financial backer of the Azkals, whose recent success is credited to Palami, he also owns United Football League squad Global FC.
Dizer said that Palami’s primary role will be to “solicit donations” and “generate more alumni support” for the Fighting Maroons, who failed to win a single game in the previous season.
Dizer added that UP’s recognition of Palami as the new head of the alumni group is still being processed.
“We’re in the process of recognizing the support and nomination,” he said. “He is considered as the head representative, nothing official yet.”
He also refused to call Palami officially as team manager of the Fighting Maroons as such titles do not apply to varsity teams.
“Dito sa UP, as much as possible, ayaw namin magtawag ng manager e. Kasi this is an amateur league and this is a school function. Ang merong manager ay yung sa professional lang,” Dizer said.
Dizer hopes that Palami’s entry will help bring winning ways back to the Fighting Maroons, whose last championship dates back in 1986 during the time of basketball legends Benjie Paras and Ronnie Magsanoc.
“Si Dan Palami naman ay unquestionable ang kanyang integrity at accomplishments in Philippine football. He is very good in terms of sports management. Maaari siyang makatulong para mapaganda ang programa ng UP Maroons basketball,” Dizer said.
“Hopefully, (he’ll) bring back the winning tradition. We just want to win.”