Filipino-French standout Ozar anchoring UP women’s run | Inquirer Sports

Filipino-French standout Ozar anchoring UP women’s run

/ 04:20 AM October 24, 2023

Louna Ozar is using her experience playing in France to the hilt for the Maroons. —UAAP MEDIA

Louna Ozar is using her experience playing in France to the hilt for the Maroons. —UAAP MEDIA

Louna Ozar has played for only five games for the University of the Philippines (UP), but the Filipino-French guard has figured prominently in the Fighting Maroons’ early success in UAAP women’s caging.

UP turned in its finest start in 15 years, and is shaping up as Final Four contenders this year after narrowly missing the knockout phase last season with Ozar averaging 11.4 points—the second-best performance among Paul Ramos’ charges.


“Louna has been commendable for the team. Not only for her performances on the court but also outside,” he told the Inquirer recently shortly after a dinner arranged by Nickel Asia Corp.


“She’s a great character, easy to go with, very humble and hardworking as well. A winner and competitor who is not hard to jell with,” he added.

Ozar, 19, traces her Filipino lineage to her father Leo, who hails from Camiguin and emigrated to France in the mid-90s. She broke into the Philippine basketball scene playing for Pat Aquino and Gilas Pilipinas Women.

The rookie sensation missed her first two games with UP due to a Gilas stint in the Hangzhou Asian Games—one of the national team tours that, turns out, primed her well for the UAAP.

While those gigs with Gilas afforded her rich playing experience, Ozar feels that her equally capable teammates, Christie Bariquit, Kaye Pesquera, Favour Onoh, are also making it easy for her at UP.

Ligue Féminine

“I used those experiences and put them here in the UAAP. I didn’t play immediately for UP but the team has been making it easy for me in the game. I find them easily on the court and [they find me easily] as well,” she told the Inquirer in a separate chat.

Standing at 5’8” with a skillset of a guard polished by numerous battles against older women in Paris’ Ligue Féminine de Basketball in her formative years, Ozar has put together a massive advantage that puts her over her homegrown counterparts in the UAAP.


And that’s what Ramos is looking to continue banking on as the Fighting Maroons open their second round campaign with a UAAP championship in mind.

“I’m just hoping we can sustain the momentum of her being able to showcase her talents and skills [toward] the Final Four. And hopefully, in the Finals,” the young coach said.

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“[Louna’s] still hungry to learn. Still working hard. And there’s no ere in her, as the cliché goes, despite her wealth of experience,” he went on. “She’s very down-to-earth. A very coachable player in that sense.” INQ

TAGS: Sports, UAAP

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