THIRTY years after and the Philippine Basketball Association continues to evolve as the country’s no. 1 sports entertainment.
And last year was a perfect proof of it.
Asia’s pioneer pro ball league registered a new record in gate receipts amounting to P114 million in a banner season that saw three different teams emerged as champions. The figure easily topped the previous all-time gate receipt mark of P90 million attained just the year before.
Remarkably, both high marks were achieved during the first two terms of lawyer Chito Salud as league commissioner.
And not one to deny him of credit for the feats he has achieved for the league in so short a time, the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) has recognized Salud as its Executive of the Year.
The son of the late PBA commissioner Rodrigo Salud will be awarded the distinct honor during the PSA-Milo Annual Awards Night set at the grand ballroom of the Manila Hotel on March 16.
“The board was unanimous in its choice. There’s no better choice for the PSA Executive of the Year award than PBA commissioner Chito Salud,” said Tempo sports editor Rey Bancod, the current PSA president.
Salud will be the third recipient of the award first instituted in 2010 by the country’s oldest media organization during its gala night presented by Rain or Shine, Globalport 900, Meralco, Senator Chiz Escudero, PBA, LBC, Smart, Philippine Sports Commission, and ICTSI and Philippine Golf Tour.
Philippine Azkals team manager Dan Palami was the first to be bestowed the honor followed by Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines head and Maynilad president and chief executive officer Ricky Vargas.
Aside from steering the PBA to greater heights, Salud also managed to rally the board representatives of all 10 teams to allow their players to suit up for the Gilas Pilipinas team that will see action in the Fiba-Asia Men’s Basketball Championship which the country is hosting for the first time in 40 years.
Salud is among the more than 50 personalities to be given tribute on this night when the best and brightest of 2012 gather in a two-hour celebration.
Heading the list of honorees are the four co-winners of the prestigious Athlete of the Year award, namely Nonito Donaire Jr., Josie Gabuco, the Manila women’s softball team, and the Ateneo Blue Eagles.