By Barry Viloria
Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, the crowds swell roaring at The Arena in San Juan for NCAA matches. For those of us catching the games on the tube, we find ourselves thrilled every time a game starts, mostly because of the helpful, oftentimes hilarious twosomes commentating from the panel. These guys aren’t just your typical talking heads, though. They’re legit basketball geeks tasked to deliver first-hand info concerning your favourite ballers straight to the viewers. Curious who these guys are? We finally put the spotlight on our NCAA panelists, who reveal that they’re more than just your hoop junkies!
ANTON ROXAS a.k.a Mister Pure Business
Call Anton a frustrated basketball player. It might hurt, but just a little. His basketball playing roots hark all the way back in high school at De La Salle Zobel, participating in at least two UAAP Juniors seasons. His collegiate career, sadly, didn’t take flght at all after he failed to make the cut on the squads he tried out for. Instead, he pursued a different career path by taking up Business Management with specialization in Applied Corporate Management. He found himself excelling in public speaking throughout college, which primed him for his present career. While Anton may have lost the chance to play in the pros, ABS-CBN Sports + Action’s resident hunk (he also mans the country’s longest-running boxing show, ABS-CBN Sports Presents Top Rank Boxing, and sub-anchors on The Score) feels fortunate enough to have been part of both the NCAA and the UAAP for years now!
“My childhood dream was to become a professional basketball player, but I always told myself that if I didn’t make it to the PBA or the NBA, I would do something related to the games.”
His sports idol “Michael Jordan. I grew up watching him play basketball and win six NBA Championships for the Chicago Bulls!”
His sports motto “Love is playing every game as if it’s your last’ by Michael Jordan!”
His type of girl “I’m drawn to girls who are kind-hearted. I want to be with somebody who’s down-to-earth, honest, and God-fearing!”
MIKEE REYES a.k.a The Joker
Mikee’s foray into sportscasting happened after suffering an ACL injury that temporarily relegated him to the sidelines. The former UP Fighting Maroon says that he has no background in the job at all, but considering that he has been into basketball since “I was in the crib, playing with mini hoops,” hosting shows that featured the sport wasn’t too farfetched a reality for him. He seems to be enjoying his new job, mixing in some writing for and hosting live chats with athletes as guests on sports.abs-cbn.com!
“The perk of the job? Getting paid just to watch and talk about what I love— basketball! Ha ha!
His sports motto “Sometimes, you’re on top, sometimes you’re at the bottom. The important thing is you keep going because you can’t go back to the top if you stop, right?”
His secret side “I may be the most body-conscious guy you will ever meet!”
His type of girl “Someone who has the beauty and the booty. My celebrity crush is Kathryn Bernardo because… why not her?”
ANDREI FELIX a.k.a The Charming Kuya
His killer smile and overall boy next door looks might seem very familiar because, well, he is. Andrei has been in showbiz since he was 14. A product of Star Magic, he worked his way up—despite his dad’s misgivings who wanted him to prioritize school first. He’s been on TV (Remember him as a MYX VJ and a host on Umagang Kay Ganda?), on radio (the now-defunct MAX 103.5 FM), and in various events as a sought-after host. He used his knowledge in basketball, his speaking skills, and his undeniable charm in covering premier sporting events in the country including the Philippine Basketball League and the NCAA from 2007 to 2011. He came back to commentate the NCAA this season along with the return of the league to the Kapamilya network. It’s nice to see him back to doing what he does best!
“At the end of the day, I love basketball. It’s the sport we love as Filipinos. I’ve long dreamt of being in this position!”
His favorite team “Letran. They’ve been the underdogs na talagang kahit walang import, walang foreign player, undersized, talagang iba ’yung fighting spirit!”
His favorite pastime “I love watching TV series! Right now, I can’t wait to watch Super Girl kasi crush ko si Melissa Benoist!”
His type of girl “Someone like UFC’s Ronda Rousey! Grabe ang sex appeal niya when she fights!"
MARTIN “HAMMER” ANTONIO a.k.a The Giant Geek
His burly stature easily complements his no-nonsense sports background. As a kid, Hammer tuned in to sports-oriented shows all day. He also played for the San Beda Red Lions, helping the team break the 28-year title drought back in NCAA Season 82. Afterwards, he pursued a career playing in the PBA D-League. Now, Hammer puts his sporty roots to use, not just by commentating in the NCAA, but also as a certified athletic development specialist. After all, he does hold a graduate degree in Exercise and a bachelor’s degree in Sports Science from UP!
“The advent of the Internet further fed my obsession for sports, which made me the guy you want to talk sports with and, at the same time, annoy you for knowing too much.”
His sports motto “Humility, Accountability, and Motivation Makes Excellence Reachable—that’s what Hammer stands for.”
His favorite team “The San Beda Red Lions! The school that helped mold the man I am today, opened up opportunities for me, and most important among all: Gave me relationships that would last a lifetime!”
His type of girl “Smart, sensible, caring, nurturing, understanding, and have an annoying sense of humor—like my girlfriend Kitty Gonzales!”
MIGS BUSTOS a.k.a The Know-It-All
Migs was helping out in the family business and juggling a job as a real estate broker before the opportunity to become a panelist for the NCAA came to him. The transition wasn’t that diffiult, though, as he has experience coaching his high school basketball team at De La Salle Zobel. He’s a fan of the most popular leagues (NCAA, UAAP, PBA, NBA, you name it!), and, on top of that, he also founded LEAG, a website that features local basketball leagues and their game statistics online. Migs is also camera-savvy, having started a modeling career a few years ago. Here’s another fun fact about him: His girlfriend is former NCAA courtside reporter Michelle Mediana!
“Nobody can argue how awesome it is being on national TV on a weekly basis! At the same time, being on it because of your passion and doing what you love!”
His favorite team “University of Perpetual Help Altas. I’ve seen Earl Scottie Thompson during his rookie years and, from then on, yung potential niya nakita ko na!”
His (athlete) crush “Maria Sharapova. She’s one of the greatest tennis players in the world!”
His type of girl “Someone with good social skills, logic, family values, and personality is what I look for, really.”
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Images Ian Castañares / Styling Rj Roque / Makeup Muriel Vega Perez / Hair Reynard Bonuzo for Triple Luck Brow And Nail Salon