New role for former Ateneo libero Lazaro
Mark Escarlote on Jan 08, 2016 01:52 PM
Former Ateneo de Manila libero Denden Lazaro with ABS-CBN Sports+Action sports anchor Andrei Felix
Denden Lazaro is back in indoor volleyball.
But not for that diving and defending job.
The former Ateneo de Manila University star will be “in action” outside the taraflex court wearing preppy clothes and cool kicks instead for jersey and knee pads.
She is the newest addition to the broadcasting team of ABS-CBN Sports+Action that will cover the 91st NCAA Final Four and championship series as a volleyball analyst.
Lazaro said that she felt a bit weird when she saw indoor volleyball action in a charity game last month organized by her former teammate Alyssa Valdez and buddy Kiefer Ravena after almost six months of layoff since her stint in the Singapore Southeast Asian Games last June.
Sitting behind a long table with a headset and commentating a collegiate game instead of diving and digging for the ball, she added, is even weirder.
“Medyo weird kasi nga parang ako naman ang nasa other side ng court, ako na ang naga-analyze, ako na ang tumitingin sa laro but I think it goes to show na hindi ko mabitawan yung volleyball. First love ko yan e,” said the 23-year-old multi-awarded defense specialist.
“I think its good naman na I try something different for a change. Try something new and let’s see where it goes,” said Lazaro, who is currently a med school student.
However, she is no novice in calling volleyball games. Lazaro had a short stint in the amateur and club leagues and learned the ropes from seasoned analysts who themselves played the game.
Being a volleyball player, Lazaro knew the sport and it’s a big advantage.
“I think it’s a big advantage kasi hearing sina Tita Mozzy (Ravena), Ivy Remulla and the other players who did commentating also and being the analysts, nakaka-relate sila sa feeling ng players and alam nila yung nangyayari sa loob,” she said.
“Mas may alam sila (former players) sa laro that other people don’t. They bring the viewers into that world, in to that court,” she added. “‘Yung what it feels like, how the players think and how the coaches think also.”
Lazaro was tapped together with former La Salle standouts Michele Gumabao and Aby Marano as analysts and will join anchors Anton Roxas and Andrei Felix with Ceej Tantengco, Roxanne Montealegre and Myrtle Sarroza as courtside reporters.
LA Revilla and Denden Lazaro
After her audition, Lazaro admitted that she felt nervous though it didn’t show as she kept her composure all throughout. Maybe it helped that her boyfriend LA Revilla of PBA team Mahindra was there to give her support.
“Oo naman, nakakaba. Sobra!” said Lazaro, adding that she never felt that kind of pressure even before when she was playing in the UAAP finals.
“Nakakaba e kasi volleyball naman ‘yung championship game and ito magsasalita ka, magko-comment ako, and maga-analyze,” she added. “It’s really nerve-wracking pero its fun naman kasi I get to work with people who really know what they’re doing and I learn from them also.”
“Sana marami pa akong matutunan sa ganitong experience,” Lazaro continued. “Sobrang game kasi I wanted to learn something new and it’s a learning experience for me.”
But will she pursue this career and extend it maybe in the 78th UAAP volleyball tournament?
“Feeling ko hindi pa pwede muna sa UAAP kasi Ateneo ako so may bias e but if my chance why not?” she said.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles