February 18, 2020
By: Benjamin Santos

Not many people can genuinely say they love their job, and I’m thankful to be one of them. Ever since I joined Evident, I’ve been doing something I’m passionate about every day — creating digital content for the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

I’ve always been a diehard hoops fan growing up, and not a day goes by where I don’t hold a basketball. Being able to do it as part of my job feels too good to be true. I didn’t exactly picture myself to be shooting with a camera instead of a ball and be wearing a collared shirt instead of a jersey, but I’m still living the dream.

Attending games, being invited to exclusive events, and traveling out of town with professional basketball players is already a championship in itself. At the same time, I also get to work with people in our Evident Sports team who all share the same love for the game. It makes any job a lot more fun!

Let me take you through the best moments of this journey.

“Hey Look Ma, I Made It!”

May 3, 2017. That was the date of my first-ever live game coverage for the Fuel Masters. To be precise, it was the final test of my job application for Evident. and I can still remember how nervous and excited I was.

It was a tight game against the Meralco Bolts. Part of my task was to do live tweets, updating fans about the score and important happenings of the match. I think I did well overall, but it would have been nicer if the Fuel Masters had won. They lost, 66-81, after finding themselves on the wrong end of a late surge.

Nevertheless, I felt like a winner. I got first-hand experience of covering the game I love, and I finally learned how it feels when your work becomes play. It was nothing short of amazing to say the least.

“That First Game-Winner”

In sports content creation, capturing a game-winner — that moment when a player scores and wins the game for the team — is an absolute thrill.

And that’s the kind of thrill I got on July 22, 2017, when we captured the moment the Fuel Masters defeated the Alaska Aces.

I was so hyped and I was screaming my lungs out, but thankfully I still managed to remain steady. This was just my second time to cover a game alone, and the inner basketball fan in me didn’t hold back. I even remember team manager Paolo Bugia laughing at my reaction.

This moment made me realize one of the toughest parts of the job: staying calm and focused no matter what happens on the court. That’s how you deliver in the clutch!

An All-Star Experience

Every year, the PBA organizes a two-day event called the All-Star Weekend. It’s when all the best basketball players of the league gather to entertain fans by participating in various basketball events.

I joined the team to cover last year's All-Star Weekend, which was held in Pangasinan. It was my first out-of-town trip with the Fuel Masters. I was excited, but this really put my content-making and live coverage skills to the test since it was my first time covering an out-of-town event by myself.

There was practice every morning, and then the All-Star festivities were in the afternoon. I planned the content ahead, creating shot lists and captions to be more efficient. Things went smoothly, and I was able to get the important footage, like this historic moment for Fuel Master Rey Guevarra.

It’s not every day you witness such a feat.

Evident Sports, for the WIN!

After more than two years of driving content for the Fuel Masters, all our efforts finally paid off on August 30, 2019 in the form of a Philippine Quill Award.

It was the first big win of the Evident Sports team, proving that it’s possible to deliver the best basketball fan experience with just a phone, a laptop, a camera, and a genuine love for the sport.

Teamwork makes the dream work

It’s not everyday you make it to the semifinals. The Fuel Masters achieved that during the 2019 PBA All-Filipino Cup, finishing with the best record in the league for the first time in franchise history. As they continued to rise, the content team and I had to step up as well.

We joined every game, practice and event, capturing not just more content but also the moments that truly mattered. Despite eventually losing in the semifinals, I’ve never been so proud of our teamwork and agility especially at such a crucial stage of the season.

Each of us knew our roles and utilized every chance we got to collaborate for content with one goal in mind: get fans to rally together in support of the Fuel Masters. We succeeded in doing so, making this one of the most defining moments of the Evident Sports team.

Baptism by #FuelMasterBirthdayBath

It’s tradition for the Fuel Masters that every birthday celebrant is showered with “love”, aka being drenched with water. I honestly didn’t expect to be part of that tradition, too.

So, as the team was about to end a Friday practice, head coach Louie Alas asked me to lead the prayer and final huddle before the birthday ritual commenced. I obliged, holding my joy and tears back at the same time.

 

This moment was unbelievably heartwarming. It felt like a dream come true, and I just didn’t want it to end. But this also confirmed something: I was now truly part of the Fuel Masters team.

Thank you for the amazing ride, brothers!

To learn more about our work for the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters, watch CASE STUDY: How a Dynamic Digital Gameplan Ignited Millions of Sports Fans.

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