As last week’s epic showdown proved, the UAAP has been and still is home to some of the country’s most exciting basketball games. Over the course of the league’s existence, Filipinos have been spoiled with thrilling hoop moments, rivalries, drama, and the glory days of their respective universities. They’ve also seen collegiate-level athletes slowly mold themselves into world-class hoop talent.
But behind every team, is a courtside reporter, who is just as passionate as every player on the roster – one that strives to represent the university’s name with honor and pride. Meet Martie Bautista, third-year student, football varsity member and the Ateneo Blue Eagles’ courtside reporter for the 80th season of the UAAP.
At an early age, Bautista had always wanted to be part of the Ateneo. She says she was inspired to attend the university because of her family members, and a distinct sporting talent. “I’ve already had Atenean pride ever since,” she told PlayPh. When I finished high school, I was recruited by Ateneo to play for their football team. I’ve always had to wear the blue color since freshman year!”
From scoring goals on the pitch, Bautista’s made the transition to watching the Blue Eagles from the sidelines and being the bridge between the team and their loyal fans. “The spotlight for basketball is completely different compared to other sports. Being on the sideline, it’s really important that I have the trust of the team,” says Bautista.
“It’s about communicating basically what the entire team is to a mass audience, it’s important for me to try to humanize them. These boys aren’t just athletes who will make their way to the PBA afterward…they’re boys, students, and like everyone else,” Bautista on what the challenges are of being a reporter.
What’s also interesting is how Bautista manages to balance everything she has on her plate, “When I got in, everything just piled up on me. The UAAP, my studies, my duty as a courtside reporter, I was trying to balance them all. I had to organize my priorities. At the end of the day, you just have to know which one comes first and second. I told myself that I am still a student and have to graduate. That’s my main goal.”
But without any surprise, the talented courtside reporter seems to be in the right track, and she’s thankful for everyone that’s inspired her career, ADMU’s athletic director Emmanuel Fernandez in particular. “You can’t really do everything by yourself, sometimes you need the help from others. One of the people who’s always helped me is Sir Fernandez,” she recalls.
Last weekend, it was the Blue Eagles being crowned UAAP champions over the Green Archers. But before anybody got to the action, Bautista could already smell victory; “Nothing is ever going to come to us if we don’t work hard for it. Get ready to win, Ateneo!”