Philippines, Sports, television

When UAAP Courtside Reporting Is Not a Safe Bet

It is not easy to be a courtside reporter.

After all, it is considered one of the most highly scrutinized positions in the world of sports broadcasting. The best people on the job are those who can relate well to the audience, speak clearly and articulately, and exude confidence whenever possible.

In ABS-CBN Sports’ coverage of the UAAP men’s basketball and women’s volleyball, a courtside reporter is hired not because he/she is pretty or handsome, but because the network wants them to represent the school with both enthusiasm and pride. Unfortunately, there are those who were simply not up to the task.

Last Saturday, ABS-CBN quietly replaced Nicole Sumagui with Stef Monce as Adamson University’s courtside reporter. No explanation was made regarding the change, but observant viewers saw that Sumagui stuttered at times, was tentative and lacked confidence in her abilities.

Sumagui was not the first courtside reporter to get the pink slip early in the season. There have been two such cases in which a UAAP courtside reporter was replaced before the season concluded.

Prior to UAAP Season 73 (2010-11), ABS-CBN assigned Karen Rozul to be the courtside reporter of National University. But the network replaced her with the late Maan Panganiban when they realized that Rozul was not confident enough for the job.

Two seasons later, NU endured some deja vu when the ineffective Muriel Orais was dismissed in favor of Steph Sy. Sy, like Stef Monce later on, had already exhausted her two-year eligibility, but ABS-CBN reinstated her for a third year due to this untimely circumstance.

For all the talk about the next Pia Arcangel, Lia Cruz, Riki Flores, Aaron Atayde, Nikko Ramos and Laura Lehmann, there are those like Karen Rozul, Muriel Orais and Nicole Sumagui who do not deserve to be in the same room. They may have survived the auditions, yet they failed to translate that into at least one year’s worth of on-the-job training for a future broadcasting career.

UAAP courtside reporting is not an easy task, but if one can survive and fulfill a dream, then it should bode well for their future career paths.  With the second round of men’s basketball plus a full slate of women’s volleyball still to come, all eyes are on the seven rookies and one returnee to see if they have what it takes to be a great UAAP courtside reporter.

Note: Aside from Stef Monce, this season’s roster of UAAP courtside reporters consist of Martie Bautista (Ateneo de Manila University), Eileen Shi (De La Salle University), Sydney Crespo (Far Eastern University), Miguel Dypiangco (National University), Migs Gomez (University of the East), Agatha Uvero (University of the Philippines) and Tonie Moreno (University of Sto. Tomas).

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New Schedules for the PBA, UAAP & NCAA

Sports venues like the Mall of Asia Arena lay quiet during the rampage of the Southwest monsoon caused by Typhoon Maring, as the PBA, UAAP and NCAA cancelled the games played from August 19-22.

The past four days have not been kind to Filipino sports fans. The Southwest monsoon and Typhoon Maring brought heavy rains and floods to Metro Manila, causing school and office cancellations. Sporting events were not spared either.

The NCAA postponed two playdates in the ongoing basketball competitions. Instead the August 19 playdate will be played on August 26, while the August 22 playdate will be played on August 29. The August 26 games will feature junior and senior matches pitting Lyceum of the Philippines against San Sebastian College-Recoletos, and De La Salle-College of St. Benilde against the University of Perpetual Help-DALTA. The August 29 games will pit Emilio Aguinaldo College against Mapua Institute of Technology in both the juniors and seniors. In addition, they rescheduled the badminton, swimming and chess competitions for next week.

The UAAP also postponed its basketball competitions during the week. The seniors games for August 21 would have pitted the University of the Philipppines against the University of the East, and Ateneo de Manila University against the University of Sto. Tomas. Likewise the women’s and juniors matches were postponed. In addition, the opening of beach volleyball and badminton was moved to August 31. It is likely the postponed basketball games will be played during the week after the cheerdance competitions.

The PBA, already scrambling to make up for the long break caused by the FIBA Asia Championships, postponed its August 21 playdates pitting the Alaska Aces against the Talk N’ Text Tropang Texters, and Globalport Batang Pier against Barangay Ginebra San Miguel. Instead the league revised its schedule, adding two Tuesday playdates in addition to the Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday games to make up for an already compressed conference schedule. The Alaska-Talk N’ Text game was moved to September 6, while the Globalport-Ginebra match was moved to September 20. In addition, no playdates at Antipolo’s Ynares Center were booked, instead some games will be moved to the Cuneta Astrodome, while one playdate will be held at the PhilSports Arena.

During the postponements, Studio 23 and AksyonTV aired reruns of prior games. However, with the improving weather conditions, it is back to normal for the production crews of both networks. And the fans cannot wait to watch their favorite teams play again after a four-day weather delay.

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