Get to know: DLSU courtside reporter Jeanine Tsoi
Barry Viloria on Nov 19, 2015 02:29 AM
As La Salle exits this season, the returning courtside reporter gets nostalgic on her "worthwhile" UAAP experience. (Photos below courtesy of Jeanine Tsoi. Follow her on Instagram: @jeaninebeatrice)
“I don’t want my courtside journey to end yet.”
Fidgety, this is how DLSU’s sideline muse Jeanine Tsoi greets us at the Araneta Coliseum dugout an hour before the Archers go toe-to-toe the FEU Tamaraws—at the game that would determine if they get to have a spot at this season’s Final Four.
But just in case you still have the volleyball season in the second semester and you’d still be doing your reports, we tell her in an effort to help calm her.
“But basketball is really different,” she counters.
At the last minutes of the do-or-die game that follows, Jeanine is found over her spot at the bench—clasping her hands tight, observably nervous and seemingly calling for help from up above. The Tamaraws are being merciless, hoping to overcome the once-15 point lead. Heroes Jeron Teng and Prince Rivero aren’t able to stall the Morayta team from taking over, as the Archers eventually succumb to an eventual Tams win, 71-68. La Salle is not joining the semis this season.
Jeanine is heartbroken, and she later takes it to social media: “Losing is always painful,” her tweet goes.
For her second year to take on the job, Jeanine, 22, has really grown fond of the games. And, with that, her team.
Although it was modeling that brought her her first taste of so-called fame—being part of the prestigious modeling agency Professional Models Association of the Philippines or PMAP, UAAP catapulted Jeanine to public familiarity.
As a kid, Jeanine has always been a UAAP fan—although, she admits her family was cheering for another team and that she had little knowledge about basketball whatsoever. The ICA alumna knew the players. But, she laughs, “I wasn’t the kind who watch because of the technicalities. Last year, hindi ko nga alam ano yung rebound, mga ganun. I have to learn it again with the help of the coaches and with the team.”
It was part of her “training” for the job to frequent the Enrique Razon Sports Complex where the team would train. There, after “chika chika or dinner after sometimes,” Jeanine would get to know the players more.
The games proved to be a more daunting yet fulfilling experience. She liked the journalistic challenge that her duties posed: eavesdropping in the team huddles, writing her reports on the spot, memorizing her spiels, mustering enough confidence for the screen—all while keeping grace under pressure. (There’s also the pressure of being rumored with members of her team, like, say, Jeron. But, she clarifies, she has a boyfriend!)
“Syempre dapat maganda ka pa din, dapat poised ka pa din,” she recites confidently, mentioning how her modeling roots helped her keep up with her broadcasting job.
Jeanine brings this laser beam focus to school and her extracurriculars she gets involved in as well. You’d be surprised about the things that she excels in, too: playing the piano, sketching and painting, baking and cooking. Always looking for something exciting, she shifted out of her first course, Advertising, to Civil Engineering—just because.
“I don’t even like cutting! Kunwari may team practice, I go to class first,” she says. “After graduation, I want to become an engineer. I want to travel the world also, or more studying perhaps.”
“It’s for myself and for my parents. I want to make them proud. I want to give back.”
Jeanine has indeed enjoyed the so-called journey. While it’s still a few more terms before she officially exits college, she’s just so grateful how doing courtside has made school more worthwhile.
“I think being renewed for the job is one of the greatest blessings and privileges ever. Sobrang best talaga ng experience. You get to meet so many people here: from the players—basketball, volleyball—the coaches, the staff, sobrang sarap ng feeling.”
“Mas na-love ko yung school ko. Mas na-appreciate ko kung gaano grabe ang dinadala ng athletes. Mas naging proud ako bilang Lasalista.”