Posted Jul 14th 2014
UAAP 77 Courtside Reporter Profile: Gianna Llanes (Adamson University)
By Josiah Albelda Posted Jul 6th 2014
Gianna Llanes seemingly had it all planned out.
After living 12 years in Canada, Llanes flew home to the Philippines and got a glimpse of how big basketball is in the country. A few years after, she is a UAAP courtside reporter.
"My dad and I dreamed of this kahit nung bata pa ako," she said. "It's one of the reasons why I attended Ateneo."
She might not be reporting for the Blue Eagles in Season 77, but Llanes and his dad's plan apparently worked out as the Communications sophomore was named courtside reporter for Adamson University.
Basketball and speaking
Llanes considers the basketball court as home, so when she starts straddling the sidelines of the Smart Araneta Coliseum and the Mall of Asia Arena, expect her to be at ease.
After all, doing the two things she loves the most is like heaven for Llanes.
"This is an equal balance between my love for speaking and my love for playing basketball," she shares.
"I live, eat, breathe basketball," Llanes added. "Gusto ko actually maglaro for the Lady Eagles for a while."
Coming from a family that includes uncles — and basketball veterans — Ryan, Allan and Patrick Gregorio, it is no surprise that Llanes got into hoops.
As a matter of fact, she played varsity basketball for Faith Academy, where former Ateneo stalwart Kirk Long was one of the assistant coaches in her senior year.
Her stint as a video jock for MYX and as a junior jock for radio station Magic 89.9 probably got in the way of her suiting up for the Blue and White, but Llanes was able to put together basketball and speaking by coming out victorious in the UAAP auditions.
It wasn't easy for Llanes when she first found out she's reporting for Adamson.
"I was so scared because I didn't know the culture, I had no idea how it is at all," she said. "Tapos tinext pa ako ng past courtside reporter, 'galingan mo yung Tagalog mo ha.'"
But the initial fear turned into awe, as Llanes, who didn't learn to speak Tagalog until college, was warmly welcomed by the Adamson community upon the announcement that she will be the Soaring Falcons' courtside reporter.
Invited to the Adamson Pep Rally, Llanes was surprised to be asked to address the cheering crowd and was even shocked when students requested to have pictures taken with her.
"They've been so welcoming," she added. "Adamson is one of the most loving communities in the UAAP. I haven't gotten anything."
"Someone came up to me. She was in tears," Llanes said. "She told me she's been watching me on MYX and couldn't believe that I was gonna report for their school."
"It made me realize that Adamson is really the school I'm supposed to report for."
Out of nowhere
Llanes knows that the Soaring Falcons are considered to be heavy underdogs in Season 77. After all, there is a new regime on the bench and remnants of the once-contending Adamson teams are nowhere to be found anymore.
She believes it won't be easy, but given the right attitude and determination, the Falcons have the potential to flap their wings and soar above expectations.
"I think they can spring out of nowhere and be amazing," she said. "Coach Kenneth emphasized na they should not be intimidated by other players. When I saw their practice, what really made me happy is that they kept running and running and nobody complained."
Adamson begins its season in a few days' time. And when the going gets tough, they can find solace in the fact that one of the best courtside reporters of this batch will be in the sidelines for them.