James Lang, Jon Castillo and Paul Diaz ruled the Urban Extreme Sports Challenge held during the Red Horse Beer Pambansang Muziklaban grand finals recently in Pasay City.

Plant officials of beer market leader San Miguel Brewery Inc. (SMB) proudly show the awards they won in the recently held Don Emilio Abello Energy Efficiency Awards (DEAEEA) 2012.

'Bossing' Vic Sotto looks up to Marc Pingris, June Mar Fajardo, Japeth Aguilar and L.A. Tenorio

For someone who has seen in all, at least in his various endeavors, "Bossing" Vic Sotto hasn't stopped expressing admiration to achievements big and small.

In his second San Miguel Pale Pilsen commercial, Vic works with four guys whom he looks up to, not because they're a tall bunch. Rather, Vic's four co-stars helped bring Philippine basketball back into the promised land.

"What these guys did in August [2013] was something we Filipinos can be truly proud of," Vic says of the four guys sharing the stage with him in the reboot of "Boss," one of San Miguel Beer's well-remembered television commercials. "Nakakabilib ang kanilang discipline at dedication sa goal nila na makapasok sa FIBA World Cup," he adds.

Vic returns as the top endorser of the country's iconic beer brand, and he is joined by versatile forward-center Marc Pingris, spitfire playmaker LA Tenorio, streak shooter Japeth Aguilar and powerhouse June Mar Fajardo. The four are undoubtedly crucial cogs of the national basketball team, whose stellar performance in last year's FIBA Asian Basketball Championships put the country back into the map of world basketball.

In a recent interview, he shared how glad he was doing one of SMB's well-remembered advertisements, especially that he is alongside familiar faces.

"This one is much more fun than my previous shoot because I'm with people who are close to me," Vic says as he waits for his scenes to be shot.

"Boss" shows how a gang of four friends hurdle all odds to accommodate an unexpected guest. Being gracious hosts, the group tries to fulfill a simple request of their Boss---"isang malamig na San Miguel Pale Pilsen."

During the two-day shoot, the close relationship among the endorsers was very evident. Vic is the father in law of Marc, who is married to actress Danica Sotto. Just like any doting father---and a basketball nut in a basketball nation---Vic spent 11 days in August keeping vigil at the sports arena where the national team slugged it out with the best basketball teams in Asia.

Admiring the guys does not stop at their achievements on court, Vic continues. He says he sees to his son in law Marc, whom he describes as "the best son in law any father can have."

"He loves his wife very much and he attends to the needs of his family. As a father, what more can you ask from a person like Marc," he explains.

Vic is also glad about the progress of June Mar's blossoming basketball career. His stint with the national team helped him gain enough experience which he could bring to his PBA career. In fact, June Mar, who plays for the Petron Blaze Boosters, is in the running for the best player honors at the PBA Philippine Cup with Japeth, who is a gunner for Petron's sister team Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.

"This guy has a long career ahead of him," Vic says of June Mar, who would be suiting up as a Beerman as the San Miguel Beermen returns to the PBA in March. "I'm certain that he will succeed because of his dedication and his willingness to learn."

"I like the way he talks as well. He means what he says, so it's fun to be with that kind of guy," Vic adds. "He's very humble, and he loves his mother dearly and doesn't try to hide it."

No wonder they are among the most sought-after endorsers in the country today. The achievements of both Vic and the national athletes fit into San Miguel Pale Pilsen's "Bilib" campaign for 2014, according to an official of the San Miguel Pale Pilsen marketing group.

"Our 'Bilib' campaign seeks to recognize distinction in an otherwise distracting field," says group product manager Elaine Minoza. "Pale Pilsen as a brand is an incomparable one given its iconic stature in the Philippines and in the world. San Miguel Pale Pilsen is a cut above the rest."

Such qualities are also manifested by patrons of San Miguel Pale Pilsen, Elaine continues. This is why the campaign wants to acknowledge the traits being shown by drinkers of San Miguel Pale Pilsen.

"Loyal patrons of San Miguel Pale Pilsen are distinct among drinkers because he chooses to go for a higher standard," she explains. "When one sees a benchmark, he tries to exceed it.

"In attaining a new achievement, he becomes an inspiration to others, just like Vic and our homegrown national athletes."

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