Monday, September 14, 2009

Sharon Yu

Speaking of Sharon Yu, the former UAAP courstide reporter for the De La Salle Green Archers and current co-host of the Solar Sports show Clear Men Future League now airing on Solar's Basketball TV (or the BTV Channel for Destiny Cable subscribers) and C/S9 is now a VJ for Channel V Philippines. Clearly a star on the rise, I did a feature on Sharon for the Manila Bulletin last year. I'm posting a slightly revised version of that piece here :

At courtside, Sharon Yu shines.

It was a UAAP season like no other. In 2007, the prestigious collegiate basketball tourney had just as many subplots as your average teleserye, among them the Cinderella season of the UE Red Warriors, the triumphant return to championship form of the De La Salle Green Archers, and the battle of wits of the two teams’ respective coaches, brothers Franz and Dindo Pumaren.

Not totally lost in all that drama was a fresh face on the Green Archers bench that was a big part of Studio 23’s successful coverage of the games. With her effervescent demeanor and eloquent delivery, Sharon Yu did not at all look like the rookie that she was in what was supposed to be a totally new ballgame for the 19-year old advertising management major and one-time commercial model.

"My mom wanted me to audition for the courtside reporting job when I first entered La Salle," Sharon recalls. "But I never considered it because I was never a UAAP fan, I don’t know anybody from the team, and I’m not fond of basketball."

Sharon was aware that La Salle was making a comeback in the UAAP, though, and when she saw the audition commercial for courtside reporters on Studio 23, she soon found herself calling up the ABS-CBN contact people about it.

Fresh face

"I was even joking about it with my friends at the school canteen," she exclaims. "They couldn’t imagine me in that position and they were all laughing about it. They even tested me on some of the basketball terms that I didn’t know then. And I didn’t take the actual auditions too seriously. I would make mistakes. I would make fun of myself. I was just having fun."

To her surprise as well as that of her friends, she bested countless other aspirants for the job and when she herself asked the judges why she was chosen for the job, they said she had "a certain freshness to her and that she is also trainable" enough to get the work done.

A two-week crash course in basketball followed, which wasn’t really hard given Sharon’s other athletic interests like badminton, wall climbing, and volleyball, or which she was a varsity player in high school. She also spent a lot of time in La Salle’s practice facility, getting to know its players, familiarizing herself with their respective games, understanding how their coach thought. She was thankful that they were all in welcoming mode and didn’t see her as a distraction.

Even though she was still nervous on her first day and committed her share of gaffes, everything else went well for her as the season went by. Now Sharon’s career in sportscasting is blossoming beyond courtside reporting. She’s now an image endorser for Nike and continues to improve on her hosting craft. "I’m learning a lot from the people I look up to like Lisa Guerrero, who is a very good sports host as well as the people that I work with like Sev Sarmenta and Boom Gonzales."

For someone who admits to struggling with her English just three years ago, Sharon Yu has so far done well for herself. "I did not have hosting in mind but I did want to have a taste of (the) industry," she says. With La Salle going all the way to the finals and eventually winning the title, she got more than what she bargained for. More than the extended onscreen time, the new projects and the celebrity that followed, she got a courtside view of a winning attitude that should more than augur well for her own professional and personal pursuits she’ll face in due time.

Watch Sharon do her stuff in this video:

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