Ateneo courtside reporters: Where are they now?
Barry Viloria on Jul 15, 2015 05:30 PM
"I was so excited during an impromptu report that I said, 'Rich Alvarez just made a SLUM DANK!' As soon as the words escaped my mouth, I just wanted to die!" Patty Laurel-Filart recalls her UAAP courtside reporter days for Ateneo, then laughs. "I got so much hate messages on Pinoy Exchange calling me 'barok.' ! I wanted to say, 'Guys, cut me some slack! I was bloody nervous! Believe me, I speak well on most days!Ē (Photo courtesy of Patty Laurel-Filart)
Fact: In 2000, ABS-CBN obtained the broadcast rights to the UAAP, the same time someone came up with the idea of assigning courtside reporters to the games. The idea made sense, with these muses (and a few men) reporting first-hand info fresh from the sidelines and the dugout—straight to the audience watching through the tube.
Many of today’s biggest media and showbiz personalities were once that person wearing a typical polo shirt-maong ensemble with a mic and (moistened) index cards in hand. And we'd like to think many of them owe what they are now to their UAAP courtside job.
Now, ABS-CBN through ABS-CBN Sports + Action is back looking for potential courtside candidates for Season 79. I was thinking of only coming up with a list of those who’ve made it big outside the league after graduation. But what our editor-in-chief Lorenzo Manguiat—who for seven years was part of the team who took charge over the auditions—has got to do? Unearth his pile for The List, complete with all the names of courtside chicks and chaps he himself has seen and trained.
For old time's sake, I stalked everyone on The List. It’s my pleasure to share where they are now to you. Or, at least, the last time they updated their Facebook and Instagram.
First up on this series of UAAP #throwback, here are the most notable courtside reporters of Ateneo. The ones of the next schools to come!
P.S. many of these ladies are married now...
Pia Arcangel reported in Season 63 for her alma mater, and now puts her courtside roots to use as a newscaster for a rival network. She’s married to sports genius Mico Halili, who was part of her audition panel. The two would work together for a show, and I would actually tear up if I go on about how their beautiful 11-year-and-counting relationship went on…
Patty Laurel, who’s married and a Filart now, reported for Seasons 64-65. I remember her telling me before how naïve she was to even audition. That time, Mico Halili and Pia Arcangel were the ones doing the interview. “I was so star struck and fumbled with my words. When they asked me ‘Do you know anything about basketball?’ All I could answer out of my nervousness was ‘If you shoot, you score!’” The former MTV VJ just gave birth to her firstborn with husband Patrick. Congrats, Patty!
She’s the real queen of all media. Lia Cruz, who reported from the courtside in Seasons 68-69, has done it all from radio to hosting to writing. Right now, she’s one of the most familiar hosts of a rival network.
The view from behind the Hollywood sign was every bit worth the walking and early waking. That's one off my list! pic.twitter.com/00FfgutVLj— Jessica Mendoza (@_jessicamendoza) May 21, 2016
Of course, no one will forget the amiable Jessica Mendoza of Seasons 72-73. She became one of the most crushed on courtside chicks (yes, I said it) in the league who grew to be a radio jock, host, and writer. She now lives in Boston as a staffer for an international news features site, according to her blog and Twitter account (Editor's note: Mendoza has relocated to California.).
Selina Dagdag of Seasons 75-76 took her courtside duties to the pro ranks, and is now a well-known reporter in the PBA and the Philippine Superliga.
Laura Lehmann finished UAAP courtside reporter duties in Season 78, but now reports on the sidelines for the V-League and co-hosts a lifestyle show on cable TV. A girl of many hats (after all, she was also a national team softball player), she tells me she’s grown to love the job. “Being a courtside reporter—it’s a mixture of both worlds! It's like half my old life, which is sports, plus half my new life, which is Binibining Pilipinas!” Lau took a break from hosting duties to prepare for her bid in the Miss World Philippines competition.
Carmi Tanjutco (Season 66)
Vanna Lim (Season 70)
Kamae de Jesus (Season 71)
Jazmin Reyes (Season 74)