UAAP Talk 6 discusses possible bubble set-up, courtside reporter search

FEU Advocate
February 03, 2022 04:20

By Trisha Marie L. Abuyan and Adrian Earl E. Taruc 

The bubble set-up and the search for the next set of courtside reporters were tackled in the sixth episode of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Talk which was aired on the league's official Facebook page, last January 21.

After scientifically assessing the situation, Executive Director Atty. Rebo Saguisag and UAAP Health and Safety Officer Dr. Raul Canlas are both confident that the resumption of the league can happen in the next few months. 

Bubble set-up

Despite the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) placing numerous areas under alert level three because of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Omricon variant surge, season 84 can still push through a bubble set-up as long as they comply with the health and safety protocols set by the said agency and Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

Even with the Omricon surge in the Philippines, the UAAP executives are positive about starting the league by March 2022.

“This is by no means na minamaliit namin ‘yung (that we are belittling the) surge, it is as looking at things from a scientific and medical viewpoint perspective,” Saguisag said.

Although fearing that the public may misinterpret the league is eager to hold the event inconsiderately, Dr. Canlas clarified how a sports bubble may not directly be a public health concern.

“A sports bubble is very different from a public health concern. Now, the DOH (Department of Health) is concerned with public health, they have relatively limited resources and it’s a wide population. We [the UAAP] have a select population in a controlled environment with limitless of testing, we can test [RT-PCR] and antigens just so we can limit and isolate those who are positive,” he explained. 

He then added, “Our doctors in the hospitals are well-versed now in treating COVID, I mean a year ago, I would be on edge when a PBA bubble is ongoing because we really didn’t know how to treat COVID but right now, we have really good protocols, we have antiviral pills.”

As compared to the sports bubbles seen before, it was clear that the game changer is the vaccination rate, since a lot of athletes have been vaccinated already in preparation for the opening of season 84.  

Eager to make the league a safe space for everyone, the UAAP, together with their partners, assured their willingness to spend on multiple continuous testing.

Search for the next courtside reporter

Alongside the plans for the opening of the season 84 bubble set-up, the application for the search of the next set of courtside reporters is also ongoing until February 6. 

Applicants must be ages 18-23, currently enrolled in any UAAP school, and must be fluent in speaking the English and Filipino language. 

The eligible aspirants must send a curriculum vitae and a 90-second headshot video containing a self-introduction and why they want to be a courtside reporter. 

After rounds of deliberation, a new set of courtside reporters will be chosen and will undergo seminars, training, and workshops. 

However, according to the Courtside Reporter Search and Training Lead Billie Capistrano, the audition and training process are harder than usual as they need to utilize online platforms such as Zoom. 

“It is different when you engage with each other or talk to each other in person than through a screen. Mas mahirap pa nga ‘yun sa  (It is more difficult for the) applicants because their energy has to transcend through that screen. It’s really difficult. I feel like the applicants who want to try, they really have to be up for it,” she explained. 

Courtside reporters are an important aspect of the league since they are the eyes and ears, and the bridge of the team to its fans. 

“As an audience member, siyempre gusto mo malaman kung ano nangyayari sa (of course you want to know what is happening in the) team because you are not there during the huddles because [of the] strict bubble format nga s’ya. You want to know ano ‘yung feelings ng (what are the feelings of the) players before a big game, ano ‘yung nangyayari sa mga (what is happening during the) huddles sa (in the) dugouts,” Capistrano said. 

After complying with the requirements of the IATF and receiving the Certificate of Authority from CHED and the DOH to resume the collegiate athletic training last December 13, 2021, the UAAP season 84 is set to open tentatively in March 2022.

(Photo screengrab from The UAAP episode 6)