Philippines, Sports, television

The NCAA Season 92 on ABS-CBN Sports: An Overview

Year 2 (12th overall) of the NCAA on ABS-CBN Sports is now underway.

The 92nd season of the NCAA kicked off last Saturday with the traditional opening ceremonies and the first seniors doubleheader, headlined by the Season 91 finals rematch of arch-rivals San Beda and Letran. The ceremonies were also highlighted by the retirement of San Beda basketball legend Caloy Loyzaga’s no. 14 jersey.

Unfortunately for the fans of the league, the following day’s seniors tripleheader was not aired on ABS-CBN Sports+Action. The reason: ABS-CBN and the NCAA agreed that they will only air games every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for the season, save for last Saturday’s opener.

Not much is changed in the presentation of ABS-CBN’s coverage from Season 91. However, there is a new scheduling format, which include:

  • Seniors tripleheaders every Tuesday and Friday unless specified
  • Seniors doubleheaders every Thursday, usually preceded by juniors doubleheaders
  • Four or five-game juniors slate every Monday

In essence, a week’s worth of NCAA seniors basketball coverage will amount to at most eight games per week. The utilization of tripleheaders and five-game slates on select dates is intended on shortening the duration of the season, however, postponement of games may take place in the event of natural calamities.

Most games will be held at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan. Select marquee matchups will take place at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

This season’s NCAA on ABS-CBN Sports team will include the following:

Play-by-play announcers

  • Andrei Felix
  • Martin Javier
  • Boom Labrusca
  • Anton Roxas


  • Martin Antonio
  • Migs Bustos
  • Olsen Racela
  • Mikee Reyes
  • Renren Ritualo

Courtside reporters

  • Sarah Carlos
  • Roxanne Montealegre
  • Myrtle Sarrosa
  • Ceej Tantengco

Every game day will feature a number of interactive segments, such as halftime school and player features, ‘Smile, You’re on Cam’ and viewer tweets. If last season’s success was any indication, then expect a lot more of these throughout this season.

Aside from seniors basketball (with a mid-season all-star game to boot), the NCAA on ABS-CBN Sports will also cover the final four of women’s volleyball and beach volleyball. Highlights from other sports will also be featured on the ABS-CBN Sports+Action highlight show ‘The Score’, hosted by either TJ Manotoc or Anton Roxas.

All games will be seen on ABS-CBN Sports+Action, both in SD (channel 23) and HD (channel 166 and 701). It will also air via live streaming on the ABS-CBN Sports official website.

This season’s theme will be ‘Sports Builds Character: Achieving Breakthrough @Season 92’. San Beda College will be this season’s host.

After the unpredictable ending to Season 91, it will be interesting to see how Season 92 turns out. But if last season’s success was any indication, then wait and see what comes next this season.

Philippines, Sports, television

NCAA Returns to ABS-CBN

After an unsuccessful three-year stint with TV5, the NCAA returns to ABS-CBN Sports starting with Season 91. (Photo credit:

The NCAA returns to an old friend.

It was announced that the NCAA will once again join forces with ABS-CBN Sports for the next ten years, beginning with Season 91 that is slated to open on June 27. This ends a rather unfruitful three-year partnership between the league and previous coveror TV5.

Under the terms of a new contract, ABS-CBN Sports+Action will air the NCAA seniors basketball games on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, with a total of seven games a week. Most games will be at the FilOil Flying V Arena, while select marquee matchups will be held at the Mall of Asia Arena.

In addition, Sports+Action will air the playoffs of women’s volleyball, as well as short highlights of the league’s other sports. Overall, the ten-year deal between the NCAA and ABS-CBN is aimed at promoting, developing, building and stabilizing the NCAA in a sporting and marketing standpoint.

ABS-CBN Sports and the NCAA first joined forces in Season 78 (2002-03), with host San Beda College responsible for the deal. The initial partnership resulted in wider and more extensive game coverage for the league, whereas in prior years it only received fringe coverage in other networks.

The NCAA’s first foray with ABS-CBN Sports lasted for ten seasons. Then in Season 88, the league joined forces with Sports5, hoping to bring in additional televised games and attract more viewers in the process.

However, the league and Sports5 encountered numerous problems, such as constant scheduling changes, lack of marketing and promotion, and network assignments. TV5 also lacked the resources to improve its power, reach and accessibility, as well as adapting to new technologies such as online live-streaming.

That said, the marriage between TV5 and the NCAA was destined to fail. And it did.

Now that the NCAA has returned to ABS-CBN Sports, fans can only hope that the latter will deliver the little things that TV5 failed to do. The long-term contract between the two parties should help the NCAA grow not only as a league, but as a brand, something ABS-CBN Sports was able to do with the UAAP.

The NCAA on ABS-CBN Sports begins this June 27. Good luck.

Philippines, Sports, television

Guide to Watching Pinoy College Hoops

Mall of Asia Arena will play host to a majority of UAAP basketball matches this season. It also hosted the opening day of the new NCAA season.

The 89th NCAA season got underway Saturday with a pair of close heart-stopping matchups at the Mall of Asia Arena. San Beda squeaked past St. Benilde in the opener while Letran dispatched rookie-laden San Sebastian in the nightcap. The 76th UAAP season unwraps in five days, so before you start saying ‘Ayan Na!’ (Here we go!), here is a guide for college hoops aficionados to get familiarized to both leagues.

Courtside Reporters

For over a decade, ABS-CBN has been holding auditions over the summer break in an effort to pick new faces to report for their respective colleges. It doesn’t matter where they study, for as long as they were picked and assigned to a respective college, then their road to a bigger career begins come opening day. This year four new faces will join four holdovers for the upcoming UAAP season.

Since TV5 took over NCAA coverage in the 88th season, they eschewed the ABS-CBN way of picking new faces to represent their colleges. Instead they went the old route of using their stable of reporters, some of which already hired by the network, to report for both schools.

Rookies and Team Lineups

What better way to start the new season than to name the rookies from every college. Some were highly-touted prospects from high school, while others were spread from various continents of the world, including Africa. Still others were walk-ons, meaning that no invitation was given to them and instead tried out for the varsity team. If you want to see the lineups for every school, visit the UAAP and NCAA websites to check each of them.


For the nth time, tickets are hard to come by for the most highly-anticipated matchups of the season. Opening week, the Final Four and the Finals are a ticket buyer’s worst nightmare. In the UAAP, Ateneo-La Salle games are the hottest ticket in town. Scalpers also pose a problem, as are issues on online ticket purchasing. Whatever the reason, I wish the best of luck to those pursuing tickets for the highly-regarded marquee matchups.


And there is the long-standing issues of officiating. In recent years, commissioners of both leagues have promised a fair, clean and honest match, but sometimes the latter part was being disobeyed. Coaches have vented their ire on the referees for supposed non-calls or objectionable calls, even going as far as getting tossed out and fined for their actions. Player suspensions are usually a byproduct, especially during the most crucial matches of the season. Officiating can be inconsistent sometimes, but it is a part of the game and it is best to respect that.

TV Coverage

As mentioned earlier, ABS-CBN is the rights holder to the UAAP while TV5 is the rights holder to the NCAA. All regular season and select Final Four and Finals matches will be on UHF networks Studio 23 and AksyonTV respectively. At least one game of the Finals will be on the VHF channels ABS-CBN 2 and TV5 respectively. Reruns of every game will be on cable networks Balls and Hyper respectively. So if you are either under the weather or are busy with other errands, just change the channel for some heart-stopping college hoops action.

In addition, will provide complementary live commercial-free coverage of every UAAP game.

School Loyalty

Finally the college game is about loyalty. It is about shouting school cheers before and during games, and singing the school hymn after games. Halftime entertainment is provided by the cheering squad whose moves captivated the audience. In a college game, students, alumni and fans alike are of the same color of the school they represent, so their presence is of an urgent need to lift their school to victory.

If you read all these tips, then you are ready to watch another season of Pinoy college hoops.