drama, entertainment, Philippines, television

Before Ang Probinsyano: A Look Back at Nathaniel

It had been over three years since a teleserye not named ‘Ang Probinsyano’ aired after ‘TV Patrol’.

So many dramas have aired on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida during that span, including a combined seven teleseryes that starred the Big Three love teams in KathNiel, LizQuen and JaDine. But at the end of the day, there was still one constant, and that was the Coco Martin-starred action series ‘Ang Probinsyano’.

After all, the series will turn three on the final week of September and will be closing in on 800 episodes by October. But lost amid the hoopla and the longevity of ‘Ang Probinsyano’ was its long-forgotten predecessor ‘Nathaniel’, the last series to air on ABS-CBN’s 7:50 p.m. slot before Coco Martin and his entourage took over.

‘Nathaniel’ starred Marco Masa in the title role, and his parents were played by Gerald Anderson and Shaina Magdayao. The supporting cast of ‘Nathaniel’ also included Isabelle Daza in her debut project with ABS-CBN.

The series ran from April 20 to September 25, 2015 and aired a total of 115 episodes. Not only that, ‘Nathaniel’ dominated the ratings game as it won past ‘Pari Ko’y’ and the 2015 remake of ‘MariMar’ in its timeslot.

So where are the series’ stars now? ‘Nathaniel”s lead protagonist Marco Masa has not had a major project since then but he did host ‘Team Yey’ for a short time and recently appeared on the second season of ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids’.

Shaina Magdayao is currently part of the Kapamilya afternoon series ‘Asintado’. And as for Gerald Anderson, he was recently seen on ‘Ikaw Lang ang Iibigin’ with former on-screen partner Kim Chiu and is now playing semi-pro basketball with the MPBL’s Marikina Shoemakers.

With ‘Ang Probinsyano’ reaching high episode levels not seen since the original ‘Mara Clara’ in the 1990s, it is easy to forget that it succeeded one of ABS-CBN’s most popular family-oriented dramas. That said, revisiting a gem like ‘Nathaniel’ will help viewers look back at a time when child stars used to rock Primetime Bida’s leadoff slot.

All episodes of ‘Nathaniel’ are currently available on iWant TV.

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Philippines, Sports, television

More Hoops: The NBL Philippines on BTV and Solar Sports

Another new Filipino basketball league has surfaced.

Last weekend the National Basketball League (NBL) played its first-ever games in Taguig City and Sta. Rosa, Laguna, where they were played to sellout crowds. The league has 10 teams in all, each based on either a province, a city or a municipality.

But before making any comparisons to another regional-based basketball league in the MPBL (Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League), the NBL runs its operations a little bit differently. While the MPBL welcomes former professional and collegiate stars to play in their league, the NBL wants no part of any of them.

Instead they focused on the homegrown and grassroots level, welcoming young players who grew up in their respective provinces, cities or municipalities. The purpose is to develop these players and create local basketball icons in the community.

As mentioned earlier, the NBL has 10 teams that currently play in their first season. They are:

  • Bulacan Makabayan
  • Camarines Sur Express
  • Dasmariñas Monarchs
  • Laguna Pistons
  • Marikina Shoemakers
  • Nueva Ecija Go Bespren
  • Parañaque Aces
  • Rizal Spartans
  • Quezon City Rising Stars
  • Taguig Generals

The NBL is the brainchild of chairman Soy Mercado and commissioner Nandy Garcia, who both envisioned a home-and-away league strictly for homegrown amateur players. The league’s games are currently aired on Solar Sports, Basketball TV and Net 25, and is also streamed live on the NBL-Philippines Facebook page.

Here is a look at the full elimination round schedule of the NBL.

In addition to a men’s homegrown amateur basketball league, the NBL organizers also plan on establishing a women’s counterpart that will begin in September. Considering that the Philippines does not have either an amateur or a professional women’s basketball league at the moment, the NBL will look to fill that void with its own women’s league.

Basketball fans can only hope that the NBL will bring some much-needed hope and inspiration to young ballers everywhere. Their role as a grassroots organization will be very crucial in establishing the next great hoops star.

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