Let's be honest. School loyalty aside, we also watch the UAAP's much-improved basketball coverage because them eye-catching and intelligent courtside reporters (CSR) sure know how to keep our eyes glued to the screen. We love them because they're as crazy about hoops as we are—and talk the talk with such eloquence and grace.
We've been admiring these ladies since 2000. And, of course, we have our favorites. Believe us, we found it quite difficult to come up with this all-stars list. But in the name of basketball inspiration, we narrowed down our choices just in time for Season 79's highly awaited opening.
In no particular order, we present to you the Top 10 courtside legends who made us swoon.
1) Tracy Abad
CSR: Seasons 69 and 70 (2006-08), University of the East
Radio broadcaster, TV and events host, music junkie, and lazy athlete, this Neri Naig lookalike immediately stole our hearts the moment she flashed her hypnotic shy smile. Tracy Abad patrolled the UE Red Warriors sidelines for two consecutive years, and is probably one of the most memorable CSR’s to rep the university. She now hosts The Mad House on Mellow 94.7.
2) Apple David
CSR: Season 75 (2012-13), Adamson University
This Adamson courtside reporter turned PBA/PBA D League/PSL courtside reporter was a refreshing addition to the UAAP broadcast crew when she debuted in 2012. Seeing her report on the action sent our hearts soaring even when the Falcons were faring miserably on the floor. She sure made the tough times much easier bear.
3) Gretchen Fullido
CSR: Seasons 67, 68, and 69 (2004-07), University of the Philippines
Before rubbing elbows with celebs for her nightly entertainment segment on TV Patrol, Gretchen was—and still is with DZMM's Sports Talk—one of the sexiest and most articulate sports reporters in the country. She was so loved that she did courtside duties for three consecutive years.
4) Patty Laurel
CSR: Seasons 64, 65 (2001-03), Ateneo De Manila University
Mrs. Filart, you never fail to amaze us. Patty Laurel started her media career in the UAAP, and boy, we're so thankful for that. Fresh-faced, glib, and stunning, Patty made fans pray for the action to temporarily stop so they could watch her updates from the huddle. After her UAAP stint, the former MTV VJ got her hosting and modeling career going. If you miss her as much as we do, you can catch Patty here.
5) Andi Manzano
CSR: Season 70 (2007-08), Far Eastern University
Need we really say more? The always mesmerizing Andi9, everyone.
6) Tina Marasigan
CSR: Seasons 74, 75 (2011-13), University of Sto. Tomas
Beautiful, brainy, and nationalistic. Tina is one lady we can't help but love. She has conquered the UAAP, Ford Supermodel of the World, Bb. Pilipinas, and mainstream media, thanks to her amazing attributes. She's now juggles her ABS-CBN hosting duties alongside her work with To Our Youth (TOY) Outreach Project.
7) Jessica Mendoza
CSR: Season 73 (2010-11), Ateneo De Manila University
The ever-bubbly former FHM columnist Jessica Mendoza may have already bid the country goodbye to pursue her dreams abroad, but she still remains one of the most recognizable faces and voices to ever grace TV and radio. She's currently a West Coast reporter for The Christian Science Monitor. Keep making us proud, dear Jessica.
8) Ira Pablo
CSR: Seasons 78, 79 (2015-17), National University
Lucky us, Ira will return to report on NU's side of things again this season. Basketball is in this lady's blood, being the daughter of PBA icon and Tamaraw great Victor Pablo. Aside from talking hoops, this hottie also knows her way on the catwalk, having modelled for several brands. Don't let those killer looks fool you, as Ira's intelligence is the reason she's such a standout. Check out her writing prowess here.
9) Judy Saril
CSR: Seasons 75, 76 (2012-14), Far Eastern University
This porcelain-skinned doll inevitably turned heads during her back-to-back stints as CSR for the FEU Tamaraws. As should be expected, offers for her to host, model, and even act came pouring in nonstop. And yes, she's that girl from the latest Max's TVC.
10) Sharon Yu
CSR: Seasons 70, 71 (2007-09), De La Salle University
Remember the chinita looker who melted our hearts during one of DLSU's championship years? She sure made it tough for us to root against the perennial UAAP contenders back in the day, right?