By: Ivan Angelo L. de Lara
Amid the intense action on the court, where the men bang bodies to fight for the ball and their schools, the UAAP courtside reporters provide a serene scene. Granted, some of them may be known for their loose reports or funny diction and grammar, but there are those who just shine. PinoyExchange.com counts down the 10 ladies whose reporting stints have been as good as any highlight reel.
(Props to Aaron Atayde and Nikko Ramos, boys who understand the game and have gone on to build sports broadcasting careers for themselves. But this is a list which can only accommodate the ladies.)
10. Maan Panganiban – National University Bulldogs / Season 72
Photo by Edison Cheng/Ignite Media
This former UP Lady Maroon was tremendous in her courtside chores, delivering her reports with energy and her infectious smile. She went on to become a reporter for TV5, joining another former courtside reporter Trish Roque. She would also become the proud girlfriend of UAAP MVP Bobby Ray Parks Jr. It is both surprising and unfortunate that in January 2012, she succumbed to lymphoma. Maan will be missed. May she rest in peace.
9. Apple David – Adamson University Falcons / Season 75
She may come from a non-UAAP school, but it is easy to understand why Apple got the job. She also broke the trend of having male courtside reporters from Adamson—following the likes of Aaron Atayde, Job de Leon, and Victor Lopez. Imagine the excitement of the Adamson community when they were finally getting a female courtside reporter—and a cute one at that. Her rosy cheeks and her husky voice add to her appeal.
8. Jaz Reyes – Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles / Season 74
Jaz has great hair, an awesome skin tone, and beautiful eyes. She, however, did not settle with just her good looks. Instead, she delivered her reports with her trademark perfect diction and grammar. She was calm and collected even during the most pressure-packed games. If you miss her, you can tune in to her radio show, which is probably not as fun as hearing her speak while also seeing her.
7. Tracy Abad – University of the East Red Warriors / Season 70
Photo by: Glenn Michael Tan
Consider her the Warriors’ lucky charm. Tracy witnessed UE’s more dominant days when she used to cover for the school. During her stint, the Warriors even reached the Finals only to lose the crown. But we all know it did not get any better by the time she left. Aside from starring in a music video of singer Rico Blanco, Tracy works as a radio jock.
6. Bea Coronel – University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons / Season 74
Photo by: Brosi Gonzales
Bea came out of the dugout during Season 74’s UAAP Cheerdance Competition wearing a hideous blonde wig. But she made it work. The Maroons had a losing campaign during her stint, but somehow, with her providing the inside scoops on the team, things weren’t all that bad. Her almond eyes, sexy grin, and beautiful skin are a sight to behold, most especially in person.
5. Andi Manzano – Far Eastern University Tamaraws / Season 70
The crossover from radio to the UAAP court is nothing new now. Perhaps one of the first ones to do that was Andi. She was already a popular radio show host when she bagged the courtside reporting duties for FEU in Season 70. The fans were excited. Even those from other schools loved seeing her report. With the sweaty players on the background, she provided a fresh scene whenever the spotlight was on her. Thing is, she is now engaged to be married.
4. Riki Flores – University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons / Seasons 72 and 73
Photo by: DJ Fabian
Some courtside reporters probably got their job primarily because of their good looks or impressive diction. But Riki is a rare breed. She has the looks, the skills, and most importantly, the sports know-how to fit the bill. A former captain of UP’s softball team, Riki knows very well how an athlete feels during the games and manages to bring that knowledge to her reports. It is a plus that no one rocks that short haircut better than she does. It is therefore not surprising that sports shows came a-calling when she finished her courtside reporting duties. She is now a host on BTV.
3. Tina Marasigan – University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers / Seasons 74 and 75
Riki tweeted during last year’s Cheerdance Competition that “no one can pull a close up like Tina Marasigan. No one.” She is right. From being a model and a beauty pageant contestant, Tina has moved on to become one of the hottest courtside reporters the UAAP has seen in recent years. Her svelte figure and almond eyes complement her energetic take on her reports. Now, Tina works as a full-fledged broadcaster, anchoring shows on both DZMM and ABS-CBN.
2. Sharon Yu – De La Salle University Green Archers / Seasons 70 and 71
After a year of suspension, the Green Archers came back to the UAAP with a championship in men’s basketball. In tow was the petite chinita Sharon as the school’s courtside reporter. And just as the Green Archers have not returned to the promised land after she had left, no DLSU courtside reporter has quite enjoyed the same popularity as Sharon’s. Although this Heart Evangelista lookalike is not active in broadcasting anymore, her two years of reporting in the UAAP will forever serve as a benchmark for other aspiring courtside reporters.
1. Jessica Mendoza – Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles / Seasons 72 and 73
Speaking of benchmarks, Jessica will, for a very long time, be one of the gold standards for courtside reporters. Other reporters may be more beautiful or more savvy with their quips, but Jessica has that X-factor that has enamored her to the UAAP viewers. Her appeal has a wide reach. She smiles, and the jocks, the nerds, and anyone in between go crazy. While she may no longer be seen in the UAAP courts, people may still listen to her on the radio or watch her cover PBA games.
How about you, sports fans? Who are your favorite UAAP courtside reporters from seasons 70-75?