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.

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Philippines, Sports, television

NCAA Needs a Shorter Season

With 10 schools, the NCAA basketball season now runs from June to early November. The need for more game days and venues are a must to shorten the season.

The UAAP basketball season ended two weeks ago, but in the NCAA, the elimination round is still in progress. Already affected by the numerous weather and event postponements, the NCAA men’s basketball finals is now expected to be played in the month of November, which does have an adverse effect on the scheduling of the Philippine Collegiate Basketball League preliminaries. So what does the NCAA have to do in order to prevent this from happening again? Here are the three things I want to see.

1. More games during the week

Currently the NCAA basketball games are played every Monday, Thursday and Saturday. However, since the league now has 10 schools, a double-round elimination tends to be much longer. In order to make the elimination tournament shorter, the league must now play either four or five times a week; Tuesday and/or Friday games are an option. However, a majority of their games are being played at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan, and should the four or five-a-week approach be approved, the NCAA will find it hard to schedule most games there. Which leads to the next suggestion.

2. Venue Flexibility is a Must

Before the FilOil Flying V Arena opened, the NCAA used to play its games at either the Ninoy Aquino Stadium or the Rizal Memorial Coliseum in Manila. Now they need these two venues more in order to play more games. Other options include the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay, PhilSports Arena and Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig, and the seldom-used Makati Coliseum in Makati. For big games involving the top teams, the Mall of Asia Arena or the Smart Araneta Coliseum is a worthy option.

3. TV5 Must Agree to the Proposal

More games mean busy schedules for the Sports5 production crew. TV5 has to agree to the additional workload of games in order to make it happen. In addition, the NCAA needs to go back to the 2 p.m. start time for seniors doubleheaders, in order to accommodate the PBA games on most days. AksyonTV and the main TV5 network should also share live coverage of the NCAA, with a select number of games also airing live on the cable network HYPER.

With the greater amount of schools to commit, the NCAA needs the above proposals in order to finish their season quickly than at the current pace they’re in. And this new approach should enable the organizers of the PCCL to plan ahead for the qualifying rounds at various cities in the Philippines.

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