Lessons from Bobong | Inquirer Sports
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Lessons from Bobong

/ 04:08 AM June 12, 2017

It’s intriguing how sad news reaches you when you’re on vacation.

Coach Ronnie Magsanoc texted me while I was in breathtaking Batanes last weekend that former Vintage Sports chair and Philippine Basketball Association coverer Carlos “Bobong” Velez had passed away.

Much will be written on what Velez has done for the PBA, especially during the 1990s when Purefoods, Ginebra, San Miguel, Shell, Alaska, Great Taste, Swift and others enjoyed a heyday. He considered the PBA the lifeblood of his once small production and marketing team that soon grew into a multisports and event organization.


What will probably not see much limelight is that Velez was our coach in the Vintage TV and radio panels. He could break down games just as incisively as our analysts but felt that his biggest contribution would be as our most diligent listener and hardest critic. We would have marathon panel meetings that would begin at noon and last straight into late evening. There would be replays of covered games and breakdowns of upcoming conference finals.


Velez’s earliest lesson when he took a chance on me for the radio panel in 1986 was to take macro and micro views of a game. From a macro perspective, always ask, “Why was one team leading? What were they doing well? Why was the other team behind?”

Velez then broke down the game into its micro or minute elements: Who was outstanding? Who was not performing well? Who is shinning over and beyond averages and expectations?

These are simple lessons that those who were fortunate to work with Velez have carried through the years and passed on to a new generation of game-callers. Velez understood the game as a former collegiate player, having worn both La Salle and Ateneo jerseys. More importantly, he broke the game as a viewer and then as promoter, always looking for opportunities to make the PBA enjoyable and interesting to all kinds of audiences.
It would have been fascinating to listen to Velez’s analysis of the current PBA playoffs and the NBA finals. He would have seen things, we, his announcers, would have surely missed or failed to underscore. We can only try to continue his untiring pursuit of excellence in sports coverage.

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TAGS: Carlos “Bobong” Velez, obituary, PBA

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