Jose Emmanuel “Noli” Eala has no plan to walk away from his media career despite getting appointed as chairman of the Philippine Sports Commission.
Eala, the 59-year-old former basketball executive, said his background in sports media will help him address the needs of the athletes, sports leaders and other stakeholders, leading to a harmonious and very effective sports agenda.
Eala is facing massive challenge after formally getting appointed as the 11th PSC chief last Tuesday.
He will inherit the mantle of Philippine sports that enjoyed its golden era under the leadership of William “Butch” Ramirez in which it won its first Olympic gold medal after a 97-year drought.
Eala said his background as a broadcaster makes him a perfect fit for the position.
“I’m so excited because my experience with media involvement has given me access not only to what they think, but also to what they need. During my time there, I somehow learned what they need and the good programs done in the PSC,” said Eala, an Ateneo de Manila University-educated lawyer who started his broadcasting career as an analyst in PBA games in 1992.
Then, he rose from the ranks by becoming a color commentator in 1995 before becoming an anchor of IBC’s newscast.
He became the PBA commissioner in 2002, but still remains active in media and served as commentator for badminton and boxing matches during the country’s hosting of the 23rd Southeast Asian Games in 2005.
Prior to accepting the PSC role, he was the senior vice president for corporate affairs of JoyRide while hosting the weekly sports show “Power and Play with Noli Eala” every Saturday in Radio Singko 92.3 News FM and on social media.
“I think with my experience with the media and having talked to so many people surrounding the system of sports has given me a new perspective and that will help me as I move along,” said Eala, who already attended his first Friday Mass at the PSC main office at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex together with PSC commissioner Olivia “Bong” Coo.
Eala said he will continue working in the media for as long as it will not hinder his tight schedule in the government sports agency.
He said he will use his medium to reach out to the athletes and national sports association executives so that they can discuss and address their needs, especially in their training and preparation for major international events.
“I will continue since it’s a sports program but I will now use it for the PSC,” he said.
“Power and Play is an advocacy for me. It’s really important to promote sports and since that’s what I’ll be doing in the PSC, it will be a complementary value to continue with my show.”
He added that his eyes, ears and heart will be wide open for Filipino athletes.
“I hope it will show them that we are open to them,” he said.
“They will come to us with their concerns that we can study. I have no illusions that we can give the NSA what they want because the PSC works under certain parameters but we will do what we can to support them.”