Not all Filipino men are created equal. We all have our own quirks and nuances, we don’t believe in the same things, we don’t even support the same sports teams. Only two things are universal when it comes to us: 1.) our addiction to the game of basketball and 2.) our love for beautiful women. And like the sinful lechon pizza from a few months ago, every once in a while we are lucky to get the combination of the things that we like. Jessica Mendoza, my friends, is the perfect example. As a court-side reporter for the UAAP and the PBA we get to see one of the loveliest faces on television talk about the game that we can’t get enough of. Does it get any better than that?
Well it does. BehindtheBack went on a date with the hoops hottie to talk about her penchant for funny guys, hotheaded coaches, and kissing on the first date. Lucky us, right?
Since BehindtheBack.org talks about all those good things in life that guys love like girls and basketball, we figured that the best person to interview is none other than the heartthrob of the hardcourt, Ms. Jessica Mendoza!
(Laughs) Nakakainis! Lumilinya!
Actually nag survey kami sa millions of readers namin and the choices were Kate Upton, Mila Kunis, and Jessica Mendoza. Sa botohan, nanalo ka!
Whatever! So sayang di niyo nainterview si Kate Upton!
Oo nga e! Pero okay na rin kase di na kami gagastos para pumunta sa US. To start off, what’s a normal day like for Jessica Mendoza?
Super normal! Nothing special. I wake up, sometimes I work out. I haven’t gone to the gym in a long time pero promise babalik ako. I do Pilates sometimes. “Sometimes” talaga is the operative word. I write. I actually write for FHM.com.ph about my experiences in sports and all of that. Minsan I contribute to magazines like Candy kasi teenybopper ako! And then radio! I do radio from 3 to 6, Monday to Thursday and every other Saturday for 90s music. And when there’s a PBA conference going on, I do that usually on Fridays and Sundays. Nagmamakaawa na lang ako pag nag ka-clash ang schedule ko for radio and basketball.
If you were on a dating game, what type of guy would you like to go out on a date with, and what would be your ideal date?
Super cliché and all the girls say it but I like a funny person.
Nako buti na lang! Apir!
For me it’s really important kasi I work in media and very important for me na I can have a conversation with somebody. Hindi lang yung seryosohang conversation, pero yung light lang rin yung you can talk about anything. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have the same interests pero siyempre that helps. But a guy that can make me laugh is good. Plus points kung gwapo! I mean, let’s face it right? Same thing for guys rin naman.
Napayuko ako dun ah.
(Laughs) Pero siyempre funny pa rin!
So kung tatanungin ka, abs or sense of humor?
Sense of humor, definitely. Ano naman gagawin ko sa abs na hindi ko makausap diba, parang tititigan ko lang. “Hi abs! How are you!”
Okay so hindi na pala namin kailangang mag sit-ups. if we were to go out on date with you, what would it be like?
Kailangan masarap na pagkain. Hindi niya kailangan magluto but that helps also kase super useless ako sa kitchen so if he can cook that’s better. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Somewhere na comfortable na puwede mag-usap, I mean that’s the point of a date. You guys want to be able to talk to each other. I don’t have an ideal date, but actually it’s fun if he does something surprising at the same time comfortable. Hindi naman too out there na bigla na lang kayong mag bungee jumping on a first date, parang ang OA diba? I would do that but not on a first date. A typical dinner movie date would be fine.
What would turn you off?
Pag boring siya. Or the usual things like B.O. mga ganun, right? Funny ka di ka naman naliligo. So things like that. But personality-wise, I guess if he only talks about himself, you know what I mean? Yung walang pakisama sa ibang tao that’s difficult for me. Di naman ako social butterfly but sana a guy that can hang out with the people you hang out with also.
Part of the perks of the job is you get to interview the athletes na iniidolo natin. What’s your most memorable experience so far?
Well ayoko mag namedrop baka pagalitan ako kase I still work with him, but there was this one time, favorite ko talaga to, but during a game a coach gets ejected. A high-profile coach gets ejected.
(Laughs) Sabi sakin nung floor director, “Kumuha ka ng storya, habulin mo! Kausapin mo daw.” Sabi ko, “Seryoso ka ba?!” Sabi niya oo daw. So takbo ako dun sa locker room kumatok ako, siyempre naka-high heels pa ako and everything pero kailangang gawin diba? Kakasara pa lang niya ng door tapos pag bukas niya nakita niya ko sabi niya, “HELL NO!” sabay bagsak ng pinto. So balik ako sa floor director ko sabi ko sinaraduhan ako ng pinto so sabi niya “O sige report mo yun!” So I went on camera and said, “Coach BlahBlahBlah, is not in the mood to talk blahblahblah…”
Uy hindi, Coach Norman Black friends kami nun. Actually a lot of the coaches naman are really really nice. They’re very accomodating kaso siyempre iba lang talaga pag mataas yung pressure. You know how it is, pag panalo it’s the players pero pag talo it’s the coach. But I don’t think it was personal kase he saw me after the game and then he was laughing and he said something to the effect na “Ikaw ang kapal mo pinuntahan mo ko alam mong ang init init ng ulo ko!” Parang ganun. Kulang na lang ata tapunan niya ko ng upuan kung pumasok ako. But siyempre the locker room is a sacred place for the players and the coach.
Clue na lang, collegiate coach o PBA coach?
Pro. Ang daya mo naman kung collegiate siyempre isa lang naman yun diba, si Coach Norman Black lang naman yun! (Laughs) But the players are usually very really interesting to talk to, minsan makwento sila minsan hindi. It’s just siguro hahanapin mo yung kiliti.
Sa lahat ng na-interview mo, who would be the nicest you think or the most interesting?
Marami sa mga Filipinos are very shy. They’re used to getting interviewed but parang they’d rather just play. As opposed to Fil-Ams like Jimmy Alapag, they’re more vocal, very willing to talk to you. There are guys naman like Mark Caguioa, yan mga ma-PR. Tapos may mga guys naman na kailangan mo pang kausapin ng konte para they’ll talk to you. You know kung sinong team ang masarap kausap? Rain or Shine. I’m not saying that the other teams aren’t ha? Pero I don’t know why pero parang sila yung mas madali kausap. Open lang talaga sila. Maybe it’s not the team it’s just the players, talagang it’s in their personality.
Si Coach Yeng medyo masungit daw diba?
Well never ko pa na-experience na nasungitan niya ko.
So hindi pala siya yung nagbagsak ng pinto kanina noh? Iniisa-isa natin ayaw mo sabihin e! Before you got into this line of work, were you into hoops before?
When I was growing up I liked being with my books and studying. That was me in high school. SOBRANG hate ko P.E. and my WORST subject was Home Economics. One time I played basketball for P.E. and dumugo pa labi ko kase nagbungguan kami nung babae. Basta I’m not athletic and nobody in my family was interested in the sport. I just had no influence in basketball. It’s not the kind of thing that I would turn on the television, and go “Look, a sport that I don’t understand, let me try and learn it!” It didn’t work that way.
But siyempre now na you are already in that line of work, do you know more about basketball now? Do you know the rules and everything?
Yeah, I have to. I started in college, with UAAP automatic na yan I had to learn the basics. Last year I was able to watch my first NBA semi-finals game between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics. And the Celtics lost obviously and I was really sad! So na-feel ko talaga and medyo pumalpak talaga ko in my heart. So medyo matagal talaga na process. It was really watching the games and being there. For me the biggest help is I can watch the games live pero may commentary. So that’s the best. That’s only something that a courtside reporter can experience. You can hear the commentators talk and with your courtside seat, you can watch the games ng mas malapit. So that’s really the best.
Do you have a favorite NBA team?
Okay, sorry pero ayoko ng Lakers!
Patay tayo diyan! (The interviewer happens to be a devout Laker fanatic)
(Laughs) Sorry!!! For me kase parang it’s more fun to follow a team na may pagka-underdog.
O underdog naman Lakers ngayon ah!
Ngayon! Ngayon lang! Tsaka for me ayokong maki-join sa bandwagon. I tried to follow Oklahoma City last year. Ewan ko, I don’t know yet feeling ko kase it will emerge as I get the hang of it.
You’re still looking for the “right one” parang ganun? Wala kang favorite team but would you say na meron kang favorite player and why is it Kobe Bryant?
(Laughs) Yeah you know what Kobe is good! Pero unlike normal people who are fans of the game you automatically attach yourself to a team or a player. I learned basketball as a broadcaster. Which means I COULD NOT attach myself to a team or a player. Ateneo, yes, but we were not allowed to cheer during games kase pag nakikita ka as a reporter sasabihin ang bias nun so hindi puwede yun! Lalo na in the PBA you cannot do that, that’s so unprofessional. Commentators are often accused of being biased. But at the end of the day pag magaling yung team, magaling yung team. And you’re gonna praise them if they’re good and you’re gonna hit them if they’re not.
So kung papapiliin ka, Kobe or LeBron? Pag-iisipan pa ba yan?
They’re both really good and the showmanship is there. I would go for whoever is the better team player because that’s the kind of basketball that I learned to like. Yung maganda yung ikot ng bola. Although I do appreciate a nice dunk.
Since naghahanap ka ng team player, anong impression mo sa games nila Kobe and LeBron?
Hay nako o sige na Kobe, Kobe, Kobe!
Ayan! Good answer! Would you consider going into showbiz?
Well I’m not the artista type but you never say never to anything kase you never know when an opportunity might show up and that might be the right time for you to say yes. Pwede, but for now it’s really not part of the plan.
Tell us something about yourself that you think not a lot of people know about. Actually you being not into basketball, I wasn’t expecting that. But other than that.
I’ve written about that a lot, a lot of people ask me that. And I used to also tell people that I’m really into Star Wars but that’s kinda obvious because of Twitter. Umm.. Wow, what do people not know about me?
Parang dun ka pinaka-nahirapan sa lahat ng tanong ko ah.
Oo nga e! Ano ba, di ko naman kasi alam anong hindi alam ng mga tao. Food, I love food. I’m pretty ma-explore kapag food. I don’t really say no. Hinde ako yung type of girl na kailangan mo pang i-trick para kumain ng ox brain. Parang, “Okay go! Let’s try it.” But one of my biggest regrets actually is going to Macau and not trying bungee jumping. Bungee jumping off the Macau Tower. Hindi ko ginawa and I super regret that.
Can you say that you’re the adventurous type?
Di naman super but parang feeling ko, ok this is what I always believe: if you were gonna die, you might as well die doing something awesome. Instead of like, you know, masagasan ka ng trike. Which is totally possible, when you’re walking down the street! Which is super unglamorous diba? Parang “DJ nasagasaan ng trike, patay!” versus “DJ, namatay bungee jumping, wow she was doing something cool!” So for me parang okay lang to do those kinds of things if you think it’s worth the risk. And I think it is.
Sige nga, ano yung medyo “daredevil thing” na ginawa mo?
Yun nga e! Bitin pa wala pa e! I’ve been wanting to do that for so long and I missed my chance and I was there so I super duper regret that. So hopefully I get to do that. And when I’m in an amusement park, first thing I do is ride the best roller coaster that’s there. So gusto ko rin ikutin the world to ride all the roller coasters. When I was in the US kase I was small so wala pa sa height requirement, not tall enough to ride. Nilalagyan pa ako ng tissue sa ilalim ng cap ko. I did that actually, tapos hawak hawak ng tita ko yung head ko para di lumipad yung cap!
So you don’t shy away from dangerous stuff like rollercoasters, mga ganun? Ayun! That’s something people don’t know about you.
Okay, yun! (smiles)
Okay, the next few questions, try to answer as fast as you can. But don’t worry I won’t ask you anything too hard. So… 5 times 10 divided by…
Haha! No, I was just kidding. Emma Watson or Emma Stone?
Ryan Reynolds or Ryan Gosling?
Mahal mo or Mahal ka?
Captain America or Iron Man?
Queen or Princess?
Pink Ranger or Yellow Ranger?
Eat or Sleep?
Sleep. Wait, that’s not true, eat!
Buffet or Fine Dining?
Fine dining. Lugi kayo sakin sa buffet. Di ko mauubos, sayang!
Hotdogs or Sausages?
RAIN OR SHINE OR TALK AND TEXT?!?
Akala ko mahuhuli ko e!
(Laughs) Ano ko si Daffy Duck?? Si Bugs Bunny?? Nakakainis!
Pajamas or Night Gown?
One Piece or Two Piece?
Depends. Kung feeling hot ako, two piece.
Kiss on the first date?
Love at first sight?
Sunrise or Sunset?
Naughty or Nice?
(Smiles and thinks)
Nako, nag-isip! Patay!
(Laughs) Di ba puwedeng both? Wala bang both?
Pwede naman! If you think you’re both edi both.
Thank you very much for your time, Jessica. Maybe you’d like to say something to our readers?