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Fresh faces: Meet UAAP Season 76's new courtside reporters

By Josiah Albelda Posted Jun 22nd 2013

UAAP Season 76 will see the debut of four new courtside reporters.

Following in the footsteps of two-year University of Santo Tomas courtside reporter Tina Marasigan will be no mean feat.

But from the looks of it, Kristelle Batchelor is ready to fill in the humongous shoes of the beauty queen-turned-journalist.

"It's really a pressure," the AB Journalism student said. "But I'll try to do the best that I can to represent my school well."

Honed in writing for UST's campus publication, The Varsitarian, Batchelor wanted to venture into a new venue to share her talents. And she believes that the UAAP is the perfect way for her to move into a new world.

The Growling Tiger faithful will not see former team captain Jeric Fortuna in harness when the tournament kicks off next week, but Batchelor says that the team has moved on from the loss.

"Coach Pido said that the team doesn't feel his (Fortuna's) absence because of Ed Daquioag," she added. "I hope they make it to the finals and bring the trophy back to Espana."


Tricia Robredo.

Her name might ring a bell to a lot of you. After all, the 18-year-old fourth-year student is the middle daughter of the late DILG secretary, someone remembered for delivering a touching eulogy during her father's wake and showing the world how properly the Robredo siblings were raised.

But after surviving the grueling auditions with flying colors, Tricia faces a whole new challenge: deliver courtside reports for National University.

"It's gonna be tough and hard," shared the Health Sciences major. "I never had experience in broadcasting, but I'm pretty excited about it."

An Ateneo de Manila University student, she's never been to the school in Sampaloc. All she knows, though, is that the Bulldogs will be very stiff contenders to the Blue Eagles she has come to love.

"I know that I have to be objective," Robredo said. "I'm looking forward to learning more about the teams. I will make sure I pay attention to details."

Being a courtside reporter has been, in Tricia's own words, "a crazy dream" since high school. Now that it's within reach, there will be no letting go.


Coming from the line of former junior radio jocks who took it to the next level on TV is De La Salle University's Ina Ongsiako.

"I really got into broadcasting through Magic," she said. "We had a workshop with Riki (Flores) about courtside reporting. But I was never confident."

The AB Psychology major said that her mentors at Magic armed her with the confidence needed to try courtside reporting, but when she went to the auditions, something surprised her.

"Coming into this, I have already been a fan of basketball," she shared. "And I thought my knowledge of the sport was enough. I was wrong."

True to her hardworking nature, Ongsiako brushed up on basketball terms and, in no time, she was ready to do the sideline chores for the Green Archers.

"The higher the expectations, the harder I work," she stressed. "If it's expectations on me, I just have to study. I have to log in the hours to give good reports."


A La Sallian all her life, Mich del Carmen will be getting to know a new school for the first time.

"It's a challenge," she says of reporting for Adamson University in UAAP Season 76. "It's gonna make me a better person."

Unlike most of her counterparts, Del Carmen has experienced playing in the UAAP, representing her high school De La Salle Zobel in volleyball while also playing basketball competitively in the WNCAA.

"I know the intensity. I feel that's something different I can bring to the table," she quipped. "This is my way of giving back to the sports that made me the person I am today."

Del Carmen added that she wants UAAP fans to feel the dedication and the work that student-athletes put in in training for competitions.

As for reporting for the season's host university, she says it's another challenge, but she vows that she will do what she can to deliver the best.

"The beauty of Season 76 is most of the schools have leveled up," Del Carmen added. "Anyone has a big chance of becoming the champion. It just got more exciting."