ESPN TV 5 excellent PBA coverage but where is football?

THE brand new ESPN TV 5 debuted on free TV this week with very impressive telecasts of the Philippine Cup of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). Their coverage were lively and very entertaining.
TV 5’s cooperation with the American sports network has put them notches above other local free TV sports channels.
I was glued for more than two hours when NLEX nipped KIA Picanto,119-115 in the first game at the Fil-Oil Flying V stadium and then Magnolia Hotshots winning over Alaska Aces 108-95 at the San Juan Arena.
It was just a pity that the crowd were sparse in both matches.
The rookie Kiefer “The Phenom” Ravena, also showed that he is indeed very ripe for the PBA as he scored 18 points dished 12 assists and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Road Warriors. Paul Lee on the other hand is back in form after a short layoff due to a knee injury to hit 30 points for the depleted Hotshots who missed many key players like Marc Pingris, Rafi Reeves and ace point guard from Cagayan de Oro Jio Jalalon.
After the games, ESPN TV 5 also had their usual 30 minute Sports Center sports news program. It was very entertaining but unfortunately there was not a single news about the beautiful game. They even showed highlights of the on going NCAA basketball tournament in the USA which no one cares in our country.
The Philippine Football League 2017 season just ended with Ceres Negros FC beating Global-Cebu in the final in Bacolod but it was not even mentioned.
The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) should negotiate with ESPN TV 5 for the coverage of the league next year. They do not have to telecast all the matches. They can select few matches during the week and then produce a highlight show every Saturday or Sunday evening.
I wish they could also cover the Azkals match against Tajikistan in March next year. The match will be the most important game of the Azkals in Philippine football history. A victory would catapult them to the Asian Cup in 2019 in UAE. (l.biantan@gmail.com)

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