Beyond the Courtside: Patrice Dabao reaches greater heights as UAAP S86 Correspondent

Fueled by determination, Courtside Reporter Patrice Dabao proves that she has what it takes to represent DLSU in the world of sports after a successful stint in UAAP Season 86.

The highly-anticipated UAAP Season 86 throbbed with packed stadiums pulsed with the roar of green and white-clad fans. But among the cacophony of cheers, one figure consistently cut through the noise whenever Lasallian teams took the court; Patrice Dabao stood tall as she remained at the forefront, giving the Lasallian faithful a glimpse into the lives of the athletes on and off the court. Unlike the transient nature of the cheering crowd, Dabao’s unwavering support was a constant anchor for the Green-and-White throughout the season’s ever-shifting tides.

Last September, the Parañaque native took center stage at the UAAP ceremonies, becoming DLSU’s official Courtside Reporter for Season 86. Her role extended beyond just reporting on the games, as she charmed audiences with stories from the everyday experiences of an athlete to their mindset during training. Through these unforgettable reports and stories offered every game, she was able to foster a deeper connection with the Lasallian community.

Beyond the stands

Fueled by her dad’s unwavering love for basketball and her growing passion for sports, the fourth-year student first caught the UAAP fever all the way back in Season 84, when she and her family consistently supported the Green Archers during games. Despite initial doubts about venturing into courtside reporting, a seed was planted by her father, who encouraged her to try it. Dabao entered the unknown path cautiously and embraced the possibility, saying, “We’ll see where it goes,” leaving the outcome to fate.

Dabao took the golden opportunity right before her, opting for a courageous “big leap” into courtside reporting. Despite lacking a formal background or prior experience, she adopted a growth mindset fueled by determination to learn the ropes and carve her own path in the exciting world of sports journalism. 

Upon landing the position, her initial excitement was not dampened until someone mentioned the daunting task of filling in the shoes of Kyla Kingsu, the previous correspondent of La Salle in Season 85. Though eager to build her legacy and leave her imprint in the world of collegiate sports, Dabao felt a surge of pressure. “I just worked on myself, not comparing myself more than I think I was. I definitely rewatched her…but it was really more of the healthy comparison,” Dabao explains. Fortunately, Kingsu gave her valuable advice on reporting, further aiding her development in the role.  

Throughout UAAP Season 86, Patrice Dabao donned green and white with fascinating reports and stories about DLSU athletes on and off the court.

The big picture

With a big role ahead of her, Dabao ensured that she always came to the arena equally primed as the teams that she reported on. She believes, “If you’re prepared, you have many fewer things to be scared about in such a high-pressure situation.” As a pre-game routine, she interviewed the players and coaching staff beforehand and composed her reports at least a day before the scheduled game, giving her enough time to improve her write-ups and report delivery. 

Dabao also reveals how she kept “special notes” about the athletes and teams she picked up from their interviews that came in handy when unforeseen circumstances would happen on the court, like when the analysts would ask additional questions. With such preparations before the game, Dabao admits that she never intentionally interviewed the players during game days, contrary to the practice of the other correspondents. “I see game day as something sacred for them,” she elaborates. Other than respecting the athletes’ time and space before they enter the court, she also believes that having her reports written days before allowed her to build her confidence before going on air. 

Season 86 was full of highs and lows for the Green-and-White, and Dabao was a testimony to all that. As the correspondent of the DLSU Green Archers, who brought home the Men’s Basketball Championship back to Taft, she saw the sacrifices the athletes went through and how hard they worked to become champions. She recalls witnessing the Green Archers reclaim the elusive title at the peak of her life. This was also due to her whole family supporting not just the team but also her, which made the championship more rewarding for Dabao.

As Dabao wraps up her UAAP Season 86 journey along with the other Lasallian sports teams, she learned valuable lessons that she picked up throughout her tenure. Working under pressure was the main quality she adopted since she got the role. To her, confidence is also key to becoming a successful correspondent, as one will face the camera countless times and interact with several people, including fans. Throughout her stint, she emphasizes the importance of tactfulness and knowing boundaries because while knowing what athletes go through is crucial, respecting their privacy is paramount. 

Crafting a legacy beyond the courtside

Moving forward, Dabao believes that the future of courtside reporting in the collegiate scene will keep improving. Despite the difficulties and hurdles she faced along her journey, she remains optimistic about everything she had accomplished, “With each game, with every mistake I made, it was an opportunity to get better.” Dabao explains the importance of listening to constructive criticisms from her superiors, which is a step toward growth and self-improvement. 

Following her successful stint as the DLSU Courtside Reporter, many doors will surely open for the 21-year-old. Dabao expresses her eagerness to spend another year reporting for La Salle, but at the same time, she also welcomes other opportunities that may come her way. Dabao admits she is currently “indecisive,” revealing her wide array of career possibilities and hobbies in fitness, cosmetics, and broadcasting—even hinting at heading toward a business venture.

As a proud Lasallian who represented the Lasallian faithful, Dabao states how representing the University has been one of the biggest blessings in her life so far, “Lasallians have been known for having a big heart and being super kind, and I experienced that being [at the] courtside.” While embodying the colors of green and white after each game, while she stands in front of a sea of loud and proud Lasallian supporters, Dabao expresses that she could not ask for a better school to represent.

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