entertainment, Philippines, Sports, television

Remembering My MVP on TV5

The short-lived reality series ‘My MVP’ aired on TV5 from August to November 2008. (Photo credit: Glen Sibonga)

There was a time when TV5’s ‘MVP’ doesn’t stand for businessman Manny V. Pangilinan.

Upon losing the PBA broadcast rights to Solar Sports in 2008, they immediately conceived a show that would appease basketball fans to stay tuned to the network. And in August of that year, the ‘Ka-Shake’ network (they were not called the Kapatid network until Pangilinan’s purchase two years later) premiered the reality show ‘My MVP’.

Hosted by comedian Bayani Agbayani and former PBA player Jason Webb, ‘My MVP’ (MVP stands for Most Valuable Pinoy) featured amateur basketball players who were aspiring to make it to the professional ranks. PBA champion coach Norman Black supervised the ‘My MVP’ training camp.

From the nearly 3000 aspirants who auditioned, only twelve remained for the finale. They were: Luis Palaganas, Robby David, Alwin Elinon, Adrian Pellejera, Raymond Montaniel, Reneboy Banzali, Galen Cacha, Julio Magbanua, Jerry Orera, James Patrick Abugan, Leemore Boliver, and Gemar Isorena.

The ‘Final 12’, as they were known, comprised the My MVP team coached by Norman Black. They faced the PBA Legends of coach Ed Cordero in the series finale held at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City in November 2008.

The close battle saw the My MVP team narrowly beat the PBA Legends 109-101. Luis Palaganas was named the ‘My MVP’ winner while he joined Robby David, Alwin Elinon, Julio Magbanua and Leemore Boliver in the Mythical Five.

Unfortunately for ‘My MVP’, neither of the final 12 aspirants made it to the pro ranks. Winner Luis Palaganas did apply for the 2009 PBA Rookie Draft, but went undrafted and never played professionally.

There was no second season either, as TV5 elected to concentrate more on entertainment than sports programming for the remainder of the Tonyboy Cojuangco era. Bayani Agbayani returned to acting, Jason Webb resumed his role as a commentator for the PBA, while Norman Black devoted his energies to the Ateneo Blue Eagles.

It would have been interesting for TV5 under Manny V. Pangilinan to revive ‘My MVP’, considering that the network has renewed their ties to the PBA and have been fully devoted to the national team’s cause. But that is just a dream, at least for now.

In the end, ‘My MVP’ will be remembered for its unfulfilled promises. It was not a bad attempt, but it still didn’t deliver on its intended mission: to find the next great basketball star.

Advertisements
Standard
Philippines, Sports, television, United States

PBA’s Inconsistent Broadcasting Crews in the Finals

Big games such as the PBA Finals need only the top broadcast team, but instead the league has suffered because of its broadcast partners’ constant shuffling of their announcing teams.

The PBA has had a long history of shuffling its broadcast crews during the Finals, and the 2013 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals is no exception. Some things do not work out for the better, and for the PBA and its broadcast partners, it may be a matter of time before deciding that only one broadcast team is enough to describe the action of every Finals game.

TV5’s coverage of the PBA currently has no de facto No. 1 or No. 2 broadcast team. Instead the network assigns a variety of play-by-play announcers, color analysts, sideline reporters and studio hosts to work every game, including the Finals. That constant shuffling leads me to these questions. Who is really the No. 1 play-by-play man, Magoo Marjon or Mico Halili? And who is really the No. 1 analyst, Jason Webb or Quinito Henson?

During ABS-CBN’s recent coverage of the UAAP Men’s Basketball Finals, they only used Boom Gonzalez and TJ Manotoc to work every game. The duo were also assigned to cover the recent NBA Finals locally. The usage of just one broadcast team in the Finals ensures a high quality, consistent and smooth description of the action as the games get tougher. Just ask the American announcers at every sport.

Only the top broadcast teams have the honor of calling the Super Bowl, the World Series, the Stanley Cup Finals and the NBA Finals. They were trained to call big games involving the great players, and their experiences at calling the game gave them the honor of being called up to announce a championship series. That is why the likes of Mike Breen, Joe Buck, Jim Nantz, Al Michaels and Mike Emrick have been so successful at their craft because they earned their stripes calling the game involving the best players and the best teams. And their broadcast partners in Jeff Van Gundy, Troy Aikman, Tim McCarver, Phil Simms, Cris Collinsworth and Eddie Olczyk proved capable of providing a deeper analysis of the game through their intuition and knowledge.

It is a different story though when it comes to TV5’s PBA Finals coverage. On some nights it would be Magoo Marjon and an assigned color man, other nights will see Mico Halili, Charlie Cuna or Rado Dimalibot work play-by-play with an assigned analyst. Even the sideline reporter and studio host assignments are a revolving door. Several of the personalities even play two different roles; Halili, for instance, worked as both a studio host and a play-by-play man. This is not the case in the United States, where the two roles are separate from each other.

TV5 has to make a decision on who is really the No. 1 broadcast team. Both Halili and Marjon have the capability to be the No. 1 guy, but in terms of experience and big-game minutes, I had to give it to Halili because of his extensive broadcast work. As for the analyst spot Henson should have been the man, but due to his part-time status and multiple roles, I had to give it to Jason Webb for his youth, exuberance and knowledge of the game. TV5 needs only ONE broadcast crew for the Finals, and the Halili-Webb partnership may be the needed answer.

The PBA needs to carefully handle its broadcasts. They have already suffered from TV5’s broadcasting issues prior to the Governors’ Cup, and now with the rigodon of personalities calling the Finals, it is clear that PBA’s television coverage is lacking in both identity and distinction, one that would put them at par with the UAAP coverage on ABS-CBN Sports.

Standard