Posted on August 24, 2013
by Gianna Banzon
School: University of the Philippines Diliman
Year & Course: Graduated April 2013, BA Speech Communication
1. Why did you choose to become a courtside reporter?
"I've been a basketball fan ever since I was 10 years old (more specifically the NBA and the San Antonio Spurs). I would watch with my dad and really listen to what the commentators would say. It was actually one of my mentors, [ABS-CBN sports anchor] Aaron Atayde, who kind of dropped the idea and asked me, 'Why don't you try out for courtside reporting?' And the first time I heard him say that, I was like, 'No, there's no way [I] could actually do something like that.' I was only in my 3rd year then, so I let the auditions pass me by. But as the thought lingered and sank in, I realized I really wanted the job, so I started to prepare for the following year's tryouts. It was such a long wait, and I was really gigil to audition already. I was in my 4th year when I got the courtside [gig] for season 75. Getting it in my senior year made it a whole lot sweeter. "
2. What's the best part about your job?
"I get to witness everything that happens with the UP Fighting Maroons. I get really touched when they say that I'm considered part of the team, and I don't get left out when it comes to team events or meetings. I guess the basketball lover in me really [enjoys] seeing the [action] behind the scenes, or the process the team goes through. Another thing that's amazing about being a courtside reporter is that I can watch any UAAP game I want, and there are just no words to describe how cool that access is."
3. What's the most challenging part about your job?
"You would think that the 30- to 45-second report would be a piece of cake, but there really is just so much effort that goes into those reports and I think the most challenging part for me personally would be making sure what comes out of my mouth is significant. Sure, you know what's going on, sure you understand the game, but you don't want to just report the obvious. I always like to challenge myself to [talk] about things people would instantly want to listen to. I think I'm sort of a perfectionist, but only when it comes to courtside [reporting]."
4. How do you balance your duties as a courtside reporter and a student?
"Well I'm not a student anymore; among the courtside reporters I'm the only graduate, so courtside is a lot easier because I'm not stressing over school. But during my senior year, I was balancing [so many things]—the tennis varsity team, radio and courtside [work], and my thesis, so there were some [instances] when I wanted to break down and cry from all the stress. But I learned that there will always be enough time in the day if you set a schedule and discipline yourself to follow it."
5. Any UAAP crushes?
"To be honest, I can say that I never really had an all-time UAAP basketball crush. The one basketball player I am completely and utterly in love with is Tony Parker, feel ko napunta na sa kanya lahat ng pagmamahal ko kaya wala nang natira sa UAAP players. [Laughs] But yeah, joking aside, wala talaga eh, si Tony Parker lang."
6. What advice can you give to students who want to be courtside reporters in the future?
"Never doubt yourself. You'll never know what God has in store for you, if you don't step out in faith and believe that He will guide you through your new journey. I almost didn't audition because I was doubting myself, but now, looking back and reporting for another year, I consider it as one of the best and biggest blessings I've ever received."
7. Describe your personal everyday/campus style. What tips can you give to freshmen on how to dress for school?
"My personal everyday campus style back then would definitely be a plain tank top, jeans, and ballet flats. I have a lot of basic black and white tops so I can wear different colored flats. The best tip I can give to U.P. freshmen: It's really hot in U.P., and you walk a whole lot from class to class. I learned that if you're in an outfit that's simple and classic, you end up staying fresh (or fresher than others!) for the rest of the day."
8. Name one thing every college student should invest in.
"I don't really have a 'thing' in mind, but I think every college student should start saving money as early as now. I I really need to mention a 'thing,' I'll narrow it down to fashion, and it would probably be a good pair of shoes, ready to battle any type of weather."
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