Advertisements


Always About the People

“Solid!” That was the only reaction, or lack thereof, that I could muster after that first breakaway slam of Kiefer Ravena’s UAAP collegiate basketball career over the outstretched arms of UST’s foreign center, Karim Abdul. Moments before, you could see Kiefer was going to go hard, as it was a one-on-one breakaway and he had the speed advantage over Abdul, who was hot on his heels. Little did I know that he was going to go for that highlight that would announce his entry into college basketball. That reaction, that loss for words, can pretty much sum up my past 10 years of covering college basketball for ABS-CBN Sports.  They first asked me to write about my most memorable UAAP game coverage; but I must confess, I was never really good at remembering exact details of games, unlike some of my fellow sportscasters, or even coaches I know, who remember almost detail for detail, or play by play. My memories come in highlights, or sometimes even just flashes of good or memorable plays.  I remember a 6’8”, 18-year old Ben Mbala, whom we first saw a glimpse of while Anton Roxas and I were covering the CESAFI league in the hot and humid Cebu Coliseum, sometime around 2012. He was playing for the Southwestern University Cobras, wasn’t as built and polished as when he was with DLSU, but you could already see the raw talent and athleticism. Fast forward a few years, I remember well how he took the UAAP by storm, with his monster dunks, and how he piloted La Salle to a championship while winning league MVP in Season 79.  I remember the heralded rookie season of Kiefer Ravena in the men’s division, after a storied juniors career. Kiefer won Rookie of the Year honors and helped lead Ateneo to two more titles to round up their 5-peat, before it was Jeron Teng’s turn to lead the Green Archers to a championship over his elder brother Jeric and the UST Growling Tigers.  I remember Bobby Ray Parks Jr. and his back-to-back MVP seasons. He was arguably the most complete college player during that time. It was painful to see his team fall short especially during his second MVP year. The Bulldogs made history the year after though, with Alfred Aroga, Troy Rosario, and Gelo Alolino now at the helm, winning the school’s first ever championship after more than forty years. I would argue that the past decade saw some of the brightest UAAP college basketball stars, both local and foreign, take to the hard court. It would almost be unfair to start naming them because I’ll surely end up leaving some names worthy enough to be mentioned. But we all remember Greg Slaughter, Ryan Buenafe, RR Garcia, Terence Romeo, Mac Belo, RR Pogoy, Roi Sumang, Charles Mamie, Alex Nuyles, Jericho Cruz, Papi Sarr, Jeron Teng, Jason Perkins, Aljun Melecio, Kiefer and Thirdy, Bobby Ray, Alfred Aroga, Kevin Ferrer, Karim Abul, Jeric Teng, Ange Kuoame, Matt and Mike Nieto, Paul Desiderio, Juan GDL, and the list goes on and on… all of them making their mark in the UAAP the past ten years. Aside from the highlights, there were the more mundane, behind-the-scenes memories, especially covering out-of-town games when we used to do the CESAFI and the PCCL. That was basketball coverage at its purest. There was a time we traveled to Lanao Del Sur to cover the Mindanao regional selection of the PCCL. Lanao was about another two to three hour drive from Cagayan de Oro along a dark highway with trees and mountains all around; and where there was only one mall in the entire town. Or when we traveled by van to La Union to cover the north regional selection of the PCCL… or even staying a whole week at the Cebu Grand Hotel, for the VisMin regional selection. Coverages then were bare bones: no real-time stats or live graphics, and I would even sometimes have to tally the points and rebounds of each player in-game on my notebook just so that I’d have some semblance of stats to mention on the coverage. Still, those games were so much fun because the players, getting their first shot at national TV coverage, would leave everything out on the floor.  In a year or so, both the UAAP and the NCAA will announce their respective new homes, and new broadcast teams will have the privilege of covering the best collegiate basketball players in the country. That’s how the ball bounces. I’m a firm believer that in life there are seasons, and a perfect time for everything. I’m just thankful for the opportunities thrown my way. If you were to ask me why the coverage of the UAAP helped build the league into what it is today, my answer would be simple: it was always about the people. At the end of the day, what makes the UAAP and its coverage great are the stories of the people that play, coach, officiate, cover, and run the games. It’s not really about the championships or the awards, but rather the challenges, hardships, and journeys of each of the individuals that brought them there.  And it is also about the directors, producers, cameramen, reporters and make-up artists that make sure that the audience sees what is supposed to be seen – the winning basket, a fan’s priceless reaction, the agony in defeat, and the glory of victory. It’s what Boom Gonzalez or Mico Halili would always say, that our job as anchors and analysts is to tell the people watching at home the story of what is happening in the game in the best way possible.  I just want to tip my hat to all the people that allowed us to do our jobs the best way possible. From our directors, producers, cameramen, floor directors, fellow panelists, courtside reporters, league officials, statisticians, make-up artists, and all those people behind the scenes whom we worked with, know that we were able to give our best because of you; and the UAAP coverage will not be what it is if not for all of your hard work and dedication.  It was, is, and will always be about the people. Marco Benitez was the team captain for the Ateneo Blue Eagles when they won the UAAP Season 65 men's seniors basketball title in 2002. Marco eventually covered collegiate basketball as analyst for ABS-CBN Sports starting in 2010. He is presently the President of the Philippine Women's University (PWU)......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnAug 23rd, 2020

The US on Afghanistan soil

We usually see scenes of people clinging to an aircraft or falling from it, but these are in the movies. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 22nd, 2021

Maraming salamat, Manny!

Deafening silence met the announcement that Cuban WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas retained his title against the fancied heavy favorite, eight division titleist and sitting senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquaio. It was a totally unexpected finish to a bout billed by his backers as the Sarangani legend's booster event as he prepares to wage battle in his other calling as a political leader dedicated to serving the people. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 22nd, 2021

Losing support

Last week, the Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Division engaged the New People’s Army in Dolores, Eastern Samar in a fierce gunbattle that lasted 16 hours resulting in the killing of at least 19 communist rebels while the government side registered no casualty......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 22nd, 2021

Legacies and lessons for the next government

It’s been 38 years since that fateful day on August 21, 1983, when Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. was assassinated by his military captors at the tarmac of what was then the Manila International Airport. This tragic moment in history awakened the nation in what was globally branded as the peaceful “People Power” revolution that toppled the Marcos dictatorship. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 22nd, 2021

Boxing experts, coaches to Manny: It’s time to retire 

CEBU CITY, Philippines —In light of the stunning defeat of boxing’s only eight-division world champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao in the hands of Cuban Yordenis “45 Milagros” Ugas, Cebuano boxing experts shared their thoughts on the outcome of the fight that many believed was already in the bag for the “People’s Champ”. On Sunday, August 21 […] The post Boxing experts, coaches to Manny: It’s time to retire  appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 22nd, 2021

Pacquiao-Ugas fight provides temporary relief to families during quarantine

CEBU CITY, Philippines –The Pacquiao-Ugas fight that happened today, August 22, provided temporary relief to people, who have been under quarantine as they stayed in their homes and spent their time with their families. However, as to how the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Yordenis Ugas has ended, netizens have different reactions to it. Some […] The post Pacquiao-Ugas fight provides temporary relief to families during quarantine appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 22nd, 2021

US evacuates 3,800 people from Afghanistan – Televisa News

Department of Defense America Today, August 21, 2021 indicated that there were “in the last 24 hours” 3,800 people evacuated people, which since last week.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 22nd, 2021

Kabul evacuation intensifies

KABUL, Afghanistan (AFP) — The US military in Afghanistan sent helicopters to rescue over 150 Americans unable to reach the Kabul airport gates, an official said Friday, in the first evidence that US forces were willing and able to go beyond the US-secured compound to help people seeking evacuation. The news came as American officials […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 22nd, 2021

U.S. a diminished superpower?

Traffic, people and checkpoints choked roads to the airport, while families hoping for a miracle escape crowded between the barbed-wire surrounds of an unofficial no-man’s land separating the Taliban from US-troops and remnants of Afghan special forces brigade helping them......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 22nd, 2021

Lapu-Lapu vaccination centers welcome walk-ins

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Philippines — The Lapu-Lapu City Government will now open all its vaccination sites to walk-ins. This is after the mayor has observed that some vaccination sites have experienced a decline in the number of people visiting them. Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan, however, explained that this is a result of their move on opening […] The post Lapu-Lapu vaccination centers welcome walk-ins appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 20th, 2021

Afghan footballer falls to death from US plane leaving Kabul

An Afghan footballer who played for the national youth team fell to his death after trying to cling to a US plane airlifting people out of Taliban-controlled Kabul, a sports federation said Thursday. The General Directorate of Physical Education and Sports of Afghanistan, a government institution that worked with sporting groups, confirmed the death of […] The post Afghan footballer falls to death from US plane leaving Kabul appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 20th, 2021

2 NPA rebels, soldier killed in Negros clash

Two suspected New People’s Army rebels and an Army soldier were killed in an encounter in Barangay Kapitan Ramon in Silay City, Negros Occidental yesterday......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 20th, 2021

Pateros vax available to non-residents

Having achieved 80 percent of its target for Covid-19 vaccination, Pateros is now open to vaccinate people from other cities in the National Capital Region (NCR). The municipal government will vaccinate people from outside Pateros, but residents will still be prioritized in the vaccination. The municipal government will issue a QR code and guidelines for […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 20th, 2021

2 rebels, 1 soldier killed in Negros Occ. clash

Two members of the New People’s Army and a soldier were killed when government forces clashed with the rebel group in Silay City, Negros Occidental, early Friday, the military said. Authorities have yet to identify the slain rebels, of whom one was male and the other was female, Army 3rd Infantry Division public affairs officer […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 20th, 2021

EDITORIAL - Masking versus Delta

With the continuing spread nationwide of the highly infectious Delta variant and the sustained high COVID cases in Metro Manila even during lockdown, the Department of Health is urging people to use disposable face masks instead of those made of cloth......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 19th, 2021

2 rebels, soldier killed in Southern Leyte clash

Two New People’s Army rebels and a soldier were killed while another government trooper was wounded in an encounter in Barangay Lawgawan in Bontoc, Southern Leyte on Tuesday......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 19th, 2021

More ECQ violators arrested

Thirty-seven people were apprehended yesterday along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City for violating COVID-19 protocols and traffic rules during the enhanced community quarantine......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 19th, 2021

COA flags P189 million salaries of PTV-4 employees

The Commission on Audit has called out the state-run People’s Television Network Inc. over allegedly questionable salaries of some PTV-4 employees amounting to P189.782 million in 2020 despite lack of proof that they reported for work......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 19th, 2021

‘Pacquiao has lost KO punch’

The Cuban camp insisted Wednesday that Manny Pacquiao no longer has the power to knock people out inside the ring......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 19th, 2021

‘Irregularities in pandemic response fund deprived people of right to health care, right to live’

“The Duterte administration should stop this drama. This is not helping the people in getting due social services at a time when the state of our health care system is worsening." The post ‘Irregularities in pandemic response fund deprived people of right to health care, right to live’ appeared first on Bulatlat......»»

Category: newsSource:  bulatlatRelated NewsAug 19th, 2021