By Jhesset Thrina Enano
A fresh start greeted the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons on Thursday, after winning their first game in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines’ men’s basketball tournament against University of the East. Along with the Maroons’ newfound fighting spirit, a fresh face greeted the UP community, ready to boost their morale and confidence.
Bea Coronel, a third year Broadcast Communication student, is the new UP courtside reporter for UAAP Season 74, which officially opened July 9 at the Marikina Sports Complex.
In an exclusive interview, Coronel revealed that she had always dreamed of being a courtside reporter.
“I remember back in second year high school, I saw Gretchen Fullido on TV, and she’s one of the people I wanted to be like,” she stated. Fullido, who is now a reporter for ABS-CBN, was a courtside reporter for UP from 2004 to 2006.
Coronel, who is also a member of the UP Junior Marketing Association, is currently a Junior Jock for the radio station Magic 89.9. Before attending UP, she graduated high school from De La Salle Santiago Zobel, where her hosting stints and participation in debates and public speaking helped build her confidence to speak in front of crowds.
A consistent honor student, Coronel said that anything can be achieved with proper time management:
“It’s [a bit] overwhelming. I’m in JMA, a courtside reporter and a junior jock. Yet, it’s all about time management and learning how to say ‘no’ to some things. It’s also how to prioritize.”
An athletic person herself, Coronel also plays basketball and swims. She was co-captain of her high school softball team, for which she played for four years. She is also trained in ballet and contemporary jazz.
In fact, Coronel said her whole family is into sports – her younger sisters swim and play volleyball, while her father plays basketball.
“My family is athletic – well, except my mother,” she said with a laugh.
“Worst part is the waiting”
The search for UAAP courtside reporters is a project of ABS-CBN Sports. From the huge pool of auditioners, only the best are selected to give the live updates and reports during games.
Coronel said that she planned to audition summer 2010, but instead decided to try out for the Junior Jock stint first.
“This summer, I realized it was the perfect time,” she said.
She described the month-long audition process, which consisted of three rounds. The first round was an interview and a VTR. Next, they were tested in report delivery, and lastly, they were put on the scene. Coronel shared that for the last round, they were tasked to watch a game in the PhilSports Arena, where they reported to get the feel of the real deal.
The panel of judges was composed of people from ABS-CBN Sports and sports commentators who cut auditioners after each round.
“I remember [after the] second round, there was no feedback. You’ve got no idea how you did. The worst of it all was waiting for a call. ABS-CBN won’t call you if you don’t make it,” Coronel recalled, as she shared that she became nervous after her friends received calls earlier than she did.
Coronel said that every time she advanced in the rigorous audition process, “Napapaiyak ako, (I would be moved to tears) since it’s been my dream since high school.”
After she found out that she was chosen to be UP’s new courtside reporter, she immediately got a text message from Riki Flores, her predecessor, giving her tips and advice on handling the job. The two co-hosted the send off dinner for the men’s basketball team.
When asked how she plans to distinguish herself from the long roster of distinguished UP courtside alumnae, Bea answered, “Girl power!” with a laugh. Whether last year’s losses return to haunt the Maroons, or they burn through the rest of their opponents with the same fiery spirit they showed UE, it’s clear that the boys on the team have the whole community – this girl included – on their side.
For Bea Coronel’s candid one-on-one with Tinig ng Plaridel, click here.