Chiqui Pablo Tells Denden Lazaro What She Really Thinks (Accidentally)

Sports commentator Chiqui Pablo did a little too much commenting.
IMAGE Toto Labrador for Men's Health PH

Female athletes just can’t seem to catch a break. The scene: last September 21, during a Philippines vs Korea match for the 2018 Asian Women’s Volleyball Cup. Dennise “Denden” Lazaro comes under commentator Chiqui Pablo’s scrutiny. Pablo can be overheard saying “Alisin nyo na si Lazaro…wala na ‘tong set na to”.

Lazaro, in case you missed it, plays as libero for the Philippine national volleyball team, a position that’s all about defense and ball control. When Pablo remarked “Kanina pa yan, zone 6! Bakit di sila nag a-adjust?”, the derision in her voice striking an ill chord with those who saw the video:

Pablo’s comments seemed to be due to plain and simple human error, compounded with a bit of technical difficulties. The video cuts in and out focus while Pablo’s voice can still be heard; it seems as though Pablo might have thought that her comments would not be heard amidst the broadcasting fuzz, or that they had gone off air.

Fans of the team were quick to comment that Pablo’s comments went beyond constructive criticism. The volleyball-player-turned-sports-analyst was slammed for “feeling entitled,” noting that her frustration with the match overrode her professionalism.

Neither Pablo nor Lazaro have commented on the situation. Pablo’s commentary, however, seems to be emblematic of the bigger issues we still have when it comes to giving female athletes their due.

We’d all do better by letting the sport speak for itself.

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Gaby Flores
Gaby Flores is a contributing writer for Esquire. She likes postcolonial literature and spicy food.
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