Photos by Rappler/Josh Albelda
1. Judy Saril, Far Eastern University
The Tourism Management major from FEU is back for another go-around with the Tamaraws and Saril says she's raring to show a better version of her when Season 76 begins this weekend.
"We really had good training last year," Saril, who also reported during the second semester, said. "We were able to better appreciate the other sports and other teams."
Saril learned that being versatile is key to becoming a good courtside reporter and believes that, after a one-season absence from the Final Four, her Tamaraws are due for a bounce-back year in 2013.
"I love coach Nash because he is not assuring us anything. He is just preparing us for something," she closes.
2. Bea Fabregas, University of the Philippines
Now plying her trade as a DJ for radio station Play FM, Fabregas returns to report for her alma mater.
"I really wanted another year with UP," said the former UAAP tennis player. "I want to represent UP the best way that I can."
And Fabregas might just be the lone bright spot in what is expected to be another rebuilding year for the Fighting Maroons, who lost 8 seniors last year and will be parading 7 rookies in a bid to revive a program that has placed last in the past 4 seasons.
"Jett Manuel is gone for the season, Paolo Romero has an ACL (injury) but I really am excited for the freshies," Fabregas added. "UP deserves to be represented as well as every other team."
3. Katz Salao, University of the East
A lot will remember Salao's 2012 UAAP Cheerdance Competition blunder, when after displaying her cheerleading chops, she screamed "University of the Phi--" before realizing that she should've been shouting "University of the East."
"I feel like if you judged me in my UAAP performance, I sucked," she candidly admitted.
But Salao went on to report in the PCCL and FilOil tournaments, growing in confidence while her Red Warriors were also growing their game themselves.
"I grew with them," she shared. "Even the best people make mistakes. After everything that happened last year, I really feel that I am a better person now."
And now that UE has emerged as one of the best teams in the UAAP, expect Katz to be one of the best sideline reporters, too.
4. Maria Selina Dagdag, Ateneo de Manila University
Dagdag has come a long way from her first stint as Ateneo's courtside reporter, earning several endorsement deals after reporting for the Blue Eagles in Season 75.
She's back for a second tour of duty and Dagdag can only express gratitude for being given the chance to do it again for the Blue and White.
"I felt incredibly overwhelmed," said Dagdag. "I feel very blessed they gave me a chance to do what I am passionate about for another year."
Selina is looking forward to seeing Ateneo aim for an unprecedented 6-peat and even though not a lot expect the Eagles to dominate foes this season, Dagdag believes that her crew is equipped to take it all the way and bring the trophy to Katipunan for yet another year.
5. Kristelle Ann Batchelor, University of Santo Tomas
The Journalism major from UST honed her skills writing for The Varsitarian. This time, she wants to try her luck in another world: broadcasting.
"I've always been into writing. While working for our school paper, I found sports very interesting," Batchelor shared. "I wanted to venture into something new."
Batchelor survived the grueling auditions conducted by ABS-CBN Sports and is raring to strut her stuff in the UAAP, where she will be following the footsteps of the well-loved Tina Marasigan.
"Of course, there is pressure because she (Marasigan) is really good," she admitted. "But I will try to do the best I can to represent my school well."
6. Tricia Robredo, National University
Yes, she is the daughter of the late DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo. But Tricia will be bringing more than her surname to the table as she reports for National University.
Knowing little about the Bulldogs, the 18-year-old 4th-year Health Sciences major from Ateneo de Manila University shares that reporting for a team believed by many to possess the biggest chance to topple the Eagles would be hard.
"I'm scared. I know it would be tough," Robredo quipped. "Natatakot ako na baka ma-influence pa rin ako but I know I have to be objective."
Tricia added that she's been following the UAAP since high school and being a courtside reporter has been some sort of a "crazy dream" since then.
7. Ina Ongsiako, De La Salle University
Ongsiako is an experienced junior jock like both Salao and Fabregas are, but despite this, she never had the confidence to audition for a UAAP courtside reporter slot.
"I was never confident," she admitted. "But we had a workshop with (former UP reporter) Riki Flores about courtside reporting. They gave me the confidence I needed."
She sees this stint with La Salle as a challenge and believes that hard work trumps talent every time.
"The higher the expectations, the harder I work," Ongsiako stresed. "If it's expectations on me, I just have to study. I have to log in the hours to give good reports."
8. Mich Del Carmen, Adamson University
A former UAAP athlete herself, Del Carmen knows the intensity and passion that comes with the competitions, and reporting for Adamson will give her the chance to share that feeling to fans --- both die-hard and not.
"I want them to feel the players' dedication," she said. "This is my way of giving back to the sports that made me the person that I am today."
Del Carmen competed for the De La Salle Zobel girls volleyball team in high school and also represented the school in the WNCAA basketball tournaments, equipping her with the knowledge and understanding that most of her contemporaries do not have. - Rappler.com