Tricia Robredo gives a talk to the participants. Photo courtesy of Kaya Natin
MANILA – When the new batch of UAAP courtside reporters was revealed last Wednesday, there was one courtside reporter who immediately grabbed the attention of netizens.
On social media, netizens wondered if Tricia Robredo, who was named the courtside reporter for the National University Bulldogs, was one of the daughters of the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.
Their questions were soon answered after Tricia’s mother, incoming Camarines Sur 3rd District Rep. Leni Robredo, and her older sister, Aika, sent her congratulatory messages on Twitter.
In an exclusive interview with ABS-CBNnews.com, Tricia related why she wanted to be a courtside reporter, her audition, and how she is preparing for Season 76 of the UAAP.
Why did you want to be a courtside reporter?
At first, I wanted to be a courtside reporter because I wanted to have friends from the basketball team. I also wanted to watch the games without worrying about the tickets. Back in high school, I remember watching (former Ateneo courtside reporter) Jessica Mendoza and wanting to have a job like hers one day because I thought it was very cool.
But now that I'm a little older, I think courtside reporting is a lot more than the glitz and the glam. It's an opportunity to be part of something very exciting. And because this is new and very different from the things I do in my course, I know I'll learn a lot from the experience.
Don't get me wrong though. I still want to fulfill my high school dream of being friends with the team!
Tell us about the audition process.
My resume was ready since February but I only sent it to ABS-CBN Sports last April. It's funny because I wasn't supposed to apply anymore, but I already had my pictures taken at the time and my resumes were already printed out. I thought, Sayang naman ng ink. Without even reviewing the files, I sent my application.
A couple of weeks later, I got a text saying that I was considered for the first round of auditions. I was hesitant to go but I still went. I faced a panel of four or five and they asked me several questions about myself and about basketball. They were pretty tough – the kind of tough that would leave you speechless. I still answered to the best of my abilities and tried to look very confident, even though, in my head, I was already preparing myself for rejection. But several hours after the interview, I got another text saying I made it to the next round and that was it.
Throughout this whole process though, I didn't try to be anyone else but myself. I know it sounds cliché but it's true. I even remember coming to auditions wearing glasses. I just came and auditioned as Tricia.
Tricia only found on Wednesday that she was accepted as a courtside reporter for UAAP Season 76, and will be reporting for the NU Bulldogs.
A fourth-year BS Health Sciences student at the Ateneo de Manila University, Tricia said she is already preparing herself for when the Bulldogs play the Blue Eagles.
How will you handle reporting for the Bulldogs when they play the Blue Eagles?
I think it's all about the mindset. I just have to keep in mind that NU is the school I'm representing now, at least in the UAAP. I have to set my Blue Eagle spirit aside and remember that as long as I'm in front of the camera, I speak in behalf of the Bulldogs. The goal I have for myself is to deliver substantial and objective reports each game.
Do you feel more pressure because you are reporting for the NU Bulldogs instead of your home school?
Yes, definitely. I have to learn something new and relatively unfamiliar in a short amount of time. But not reporting for my home school is not an excuse for bad and so-so reports. I really have to know my stuff and deliver them very well. I don't want to disappoint the ABS-CBN Sports team, and I most certainly do not want to disappoint the Nationallians.
How are you preparing for the upcoming UAAP season?
School-wise, I moved my Wednesday classes to some other days, so my Wednesdays are really devoted to UAAP! I'm also trying to accomplish my requirements for next week as early as now so that I could spend more time preparing for my reports.
Right now, I'm really researching to learn more about the team. I've been reading about the players, the coaches and their performances in the previous years. I've been watching their clips on YouTube to familiarize myself with how they play. For the remaining days, I also plan to watch their team practices.
How have your mother and your sisters reacted to the news of you being a courtside reporter?
They were so happy and kilig! At one point I felt like they were even more excited for me than I am for myself. I texted them as soon as I got the news and their replies were filled with exclamation points – my older sister (Aika), most especially. My phone kept ringing while I was in the meeting because she flooded my inbox with messages. Caps lock pa, para may emphasis. They also tweeted and posted status messages about it as soon as I told them. Nakakatawa at nakakatuwa lang.
They were really supportive when I told them I wanted to audition and they even helped me all throughout. I'm really lucky and grateful to have them backing me up.
Tricia will get her baptism of fire on June 30, when the Bulldogs open their Season 76 campaign against the Blue Eagles, the five-time defending champions.