From the taraflex to the broadcast booth: Denise Tan sets up the PSL games

Whenever you watch the Philippine Superliga games, the expert analysis of volleyball standouts such as Tex Sutter, Chiqui Pablo, and John Vic De Guzman are vital to fans getting excited and pumped up to watch the games, and for former University of Santo Tomas setter Denise Tan, the journey has been fun and challenging but she is ready to share her journey to everyone.

How it all started

Photo courtesy of Michael Bartolo


Tan was part of the UST Golden Tigress that made raves in the volleyball court in the late 2000’s. She teamed up with Angeli Tabaquero, Venus Bernal and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas in a squad formed by legendary coach Augusto Sta. Maria. She rose to stardom and became one of the best setters to come out of España. After her playing career in UST, she tried out for broadcasting through the Shakey’s V.League.

“Nagstart ako as courtside reporter for Shakey’s V.League, nag-intern ako under ate Mozzy Ravena. She was an analyst there and I tried it out for one conference but I needed to go back to school, finish it up.” Then after finishing her Communication Arts course, a friend contacted her to at least give broadcasting another chance. “It was James Velasquez who introduced me to TV5, naghahanap sila ng analyst for beach volleyball finals for NCAA back when TV5 was still covering the NCAA. Akala ko it was nothing lang and baka sinalang lang ako but after that dun na nagtuloy tuloy and from there it started to kick off. Fortunately when PSL was with Solar Sports in 2013, they needed a courtside reporter again and I was fortunate to get the role and the following year, inangat nila ako to analyst and up to the time na lumipat sila sa TV5, kasama na ako and I never looked back.”

Volleyball still runs in the blood

Photo courtesy of Paul Ryan Tan

Now that she is one of the lead analysts of the PSL, there is still times that her competitive juices get the best of her especially during the coverage. “Syempre, and it’s funny kasi lahat ng mga naging partner ko, kahit siguro yung mga stats guys, the barkers, lalo na nung naging bago ako, you would see me na tinataas ko yung kamay ko at sisigaw ako na “Good pa yun”, tapos minsan papaluin ko yung table, minsan tutulak ko yung partner ko, kasi I think especially that I played in a team sport, hindi naman mawawala sa iyo yung ganung mga actions. I played for about 10 years of my life I played volleyball, every stage of my life yun na ginagawa mo, so hindi na yun basta basta maalis lalo na yung maglaro especially the competitive side of it.”

With all her learnings in the broadcast booth, she only has one message to all those aspiring to crossover to her profession. “To me, you just have to try it out. It is scary, believe me it’s not just me, kahit sinong sumalang diyan, it’s your first time. You will be scared out of your mind, kasi nakakatakot talaga siya, You are live. One mistake you make, it will be online forever. Hindi lang ngayon nangyayari yan, kapag hindi napanood ng tao yan, they can just go online and view it through youtube, facebook, twitter or any social media entity. You just have to do it. Even the best anchors, the best analysts, they make slip-ups and that is how you learn. You slip-up on the first time, you need to be careful the next time. Kapag may nakalimutan ka, research more. I think its the whole process and you just have to trust the process. The first thing you should really do is take that leap and just do it.”

Through all the things that have come in Denise Tan’s life, it is her passion and the sport of volleyball that gets her going. Whether it be setting up the open hitters of her squad or setting up the games for the PSL fans, Tan will always be there and ready to bring you those heart-stopping games.

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