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Chloe Carillo: Capturing the Courtside

Article by: Crismhil S. Anselmo and Alexandra Isabelle G. Delavin

Graphics by: Aliza Belle C. Dayao


Annually, sports enthusiasts and students alike anticipate the new season of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) wherein the support for colleagues and peers going head-to-head is in full force. And while for many, witnessing the game live is already an exhilarating experience in itself, some can only dream of being up close and personal on the courtside as if part of the game.


For second-year technical communication student Chloe Hanna B. Carillo, being a courtside reporter has been a dream come true. However, like many others, she had her fair share of hoops to go through to earn a slot at the courtside.


Shooting her shot


From a young age, Chloe has always liked the idea of being a reporter. And as she grew up in a household filled with basketball enthusiasts, she was set to form a love for sports herself. Because of these, she was able to merge her two interests into courtside reporting for the NCAA Season 97. 


Chloe admitted that she has always been a big fan of sports analysis and spends some of her time listening to podcasts and watching YouTube videos that analyze athletes’ careers. 


However, watching sports was not her only reason to pursue courtside reporting. She also had first-hand experience as a student-athlete during high school. Despite a lack of exposure to the matches, Chloe was eager to learn. She would often ask their coach about the gameplays and the roles of different players on the court to deepen her understanding of the game. 


Being part of the women’s basketball team helped the courtside reporter grasp the difficulties of being a student-athlete and allowed her to understand the players from another perspective, “..the love for the game will always be there but also understanding why they keep doing this despite how difficult it is also something to talk about talaga,” she shared. 


While a hundred contestants fought for a place as courtside reporters, the technical communication student did not back down until she had the position in her hand. Recalling her auditions, she had to go through numerous rounds with GMA representatives, floor directors, and producers as their critics. After narrowing down the applicants, she joined the Top 13 and captured the attention of the network to choose her as a courtside reporter.


Training for the courtside


Chloe shared that most of the preparations for this season’s NCAA took place online via Zoom. They were trained by notable anchors including Anton Roxas and Martin Javier as well as analysts Mikee Reyes and Martin “Coach Hammer” Antonio through several writing workshops which developed their skills in writing reports, including injury reports and game overtimes.


With most of their training focused on honing one’s reporting skills, she believes that it allowed each courtside reporter to establish their own brand. “...the goal of the NCAA through the workshops was to have our own color when reporting,” she remarked. 


Meanwhile, the GMA network’s approach towards promoting this year’s NCAA season felt new to her as it has a touch of entertainment. She attributes this to the hype train of the games’ live comeback to the court after its two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. 


In this approach, the NCAA coverage includes a talk-show-like feature on players such as through Game On. With this, courtside reporters have appeared on various GMA programs and shows to establish their presence and help them become familiar with the dynamics of show business. Moreover, it enabled them to promote the league beyond the games. 


Being a courtside reporter is not a simple task. Chloe considers herself and her fellow courtside reporters as the eyes and ears of the NCAA when cameras are not rolling. From getting to know the coaches, the players, lineups, and schedules, the Cutie Techie reporter adds that the challenge is having to think outside the box “...they said [to] us sa workshops [that] you have to find stories that the fans haven’t heard [of] yet,” she explained.


Dealing with the hurdles


Even though Chloe was filled with excitement and glee when she found out she got the position, she admitted that she also had her share of challenges. As a Mapúan, Chloe admitted that her biggest struggle was time management. With the auditions falling on the same week as her finals, the Mapúan shared that she missed one of the auditions but luckily, was given a second chance on the same day. Despite her busy schedule, she pushed through and persevered to emerge at the top. 


However, this was not her first setback. Back in Season 95, Mapúa Director for Physical Education and Athletics Melchor Divina informed her that the NCAA was looking for courtside correspondents. Grabbing that opportunity, Carillo tried out but was not able to get the position. Nonetheless, the courtside reporter saw that rejection as the start rather than the end. Eventually, she became part of this season’s roster of courtside reporters. 


Being part of the Central Student Council (CSC) also helped the courtside reporter balance academic work and extracurricular work. The CSC External Vice President hosted previous events that helped her write scripts and create game reports as well. 


Additionally, as a technical communication student, Chloe learned to be well-versed in writing for every type of audience. “So when you are a courtside reporter, you should be able to have the skill to talk about basketball to a person who knows nothing about basketball,” she stated.


While being a courtside reporter led Chloe to deal with unpredictable circumstances, she used those events to become teachable and learn how to adapt to the sports, teams, and system to let her grow and improve on her reports.


Rising stronger after the challenges


Looking back on her first journey as a courtside reporter for the NCAA, Chloe recalled how reporting for the Mapúa Cardinals during the Finals became one of the most memorable experiences for her. “From my first ever report as a CSR to my last report of the basketball season, I was able to see the team fight and grow, which made it memorable to close out the season with them as my team.” she shared.


Following the basketball tournament, Chloe ventured into volleyball, wherein fewer restrictions were given throughout the matches as the reporters were already allowed to speak with the players and coaches face-to-face. Since volleyball broadcasting is different from basketball, it became another learning experience for her. Nonetheless, as fans were already allowed in the venue at the start of the elimination round, the sports became livelier, and the matches turned out to be more exciting to cover for the Mapúan community.


When asked what plans she has in store after the season, Chloe shared that she is going to focus on her studies and finish her senior year at Mapúa University. While she does not have specific plans at the moment, she is open to any opportunity in the broadcasting industry. “I want to continue and improve in being a reporter in sports broadcasting,” the courtside reporter stated.


As NCAA Season 97 nears its end, Chloe affirmed that she is not closing any doors on her journey as a courtside reporter just yet. She hopes to continue to be part of the NCAA broadcast team for the next seasons to come.


The NCAA Season 97 commenced last March 26, 2022, starting with the elimination round of its Men’s Basketball Tournament, at La Salle Green Hills. The last two basketball games of the elimination round until the best-of-three final series were then held at the Filoil Flying V Centre.


The league proceeded with its Women’s Volleyball Tournament last June 11 at the Paco Arena. The season is expected to end this July.

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