April 02, 2023

HER SIDE OF THE COURT | Less drama, more support: A 2023 Wishlist for PH Sports

HER SIDE OF THE COURT | Less drama, more support: A 2023 Wishlist for PH Sports

From a wish for the FIBA World Cup to marketing ideas for PBA teams, here’s a 2023 wishlist for Philippine sports.

Less Gilas drama

The FIBA World Cup is right around the corner. Wouldn’t it be great if in 2023, we could simply enjoy the moment? We’re literally having the World Cup here at home!

Hosting the World Cup should be reason for Filipinos to rally together, a chance for Pinoys abroad to fly back home and catch games in the flesh, for foreign tourists to take advantage of the world opening back up and add “watch a World Cup game” to their travel itinerary.

So for the sake of our basketball-loving nation, let’s hope that in 2023, there will be less drama surrounding the coaching, the availability of players, and the other issues that dominated news about Gilas in 2022.

More TV coverage for UAAP Women’s Basketball

The women’s basketball faithful hung on to the sport despite only getting to watch it on TV during the finals — which for many years, meant only two games a year, because the NU Lady Bulldogs would sweep the series.

Over the years, the Lady Bulldogs’ historic winning streak helped shine a light on women’s basketball, turning players like Jack Animam and Camille Clarin into some of the most recognizable women’s basketball players in the Philippines. But we’ve still got a long way to go. The DLSU Lady Archers snapped the Lady Bulldogs’ winning streak in 2022, and while NU still went on to win their 7th straight championship, DLSU sent a message: things are heating up in the women’s basketball tournament.

Will NU be able to continue their championship streak despite new challengers, or will DLSU claim the crown in 2023? Or will another team rise to the top? The public won’t be able to follow these stories and get to know players beyond the biggest names if the games are only televised twice a year. It’s time to step up and give women’s basketball the investment it deserves.

Less internal politics surrounding national athletes

Despite EJ Obiena getting “closure” in 2022, I think I speak on behalf of all Pinoy sports fans here: we wish that issue never happened in the first place. There are many layers to unpack with that issue, but if only our national athletes received the support they needed in the first place (ex. a full team of personnel to assist with accounting, logistics) this could have been avoided.

The Philippines is lucky that EJ Obiena chose to stay with the Philippines — a pole vaulter of his caliber could easily find a home in another country, just as chess prodigy Wesley So did several years ago after internal politics within Philippine chess drove him away. Here’s to hoping our national athletes can focus solely on representing the Philippines and reaching their full potential in 2023.



More digital content from PBA teams

What does it say that countless PBA players have YouTube channels and vlogs on different platforms, yet not all PBA teams have official social media accounts? Some teams were able to capitalize on the PBA Bubble and lockdowns these past two years to provide their fans with content they couldn’t get anywhere else; but as the sporting world continues to open up, there are even more opportunities to engage with fans through social media as well as live events.

Please, PBA teams: A YouTube video where the San Miguel Beermen and Barangay Ginebra play Pinoy drinking games. A road trip vlog with the NLEX Road Warriors. A gaming stream with the Converge FiberXers. How fun would that be?