FOR his relentless efforts to keep the Philippines on the basketball map, business tycoon and sports patron Manny V. Pangilinan will be bestowed with the President’s Award during the SMC-PSA (Philippine Sportswriters Association) Awards Night on Feb. 27.
Pangilinan, chairman emeritus of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), is the man behind the country’s successful bid to host the 2023 FIBA World Cup, a prestigious event that gathers 32 of the world’s best basketball-playing nations.
The SBP partnered with Japan and Indonesia to win the hosting rights over Argentina and Uruguay. Sixteen nations will see action in the Philippines, and eight each in Japan and Indonesia.
Along with the country’s finest athletes for year 2017, Pangilinan will be honored and feted in one glittery affair set at the Maynila Hall of the historic Manila Hotel and presented by MILO and Cignal TV.
Dodo Catacutan, PSA president and editor of sports portal SPIN.ph, said Pangilinan, as the driving force behind the successful bid to bring basketball’s world championship back to the Philippines for the first time since 1978, is most deserving of the honor.
Aside from the President’s Award, the PSA-Tapa King Athlete of the Year will also be handed out to the trio of Jerwin Ancajas, Carlo Biado, and Krizziah Lyn Tabora during the affair which has the Philippine Sports Commission for major sponsor and is supported by the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), Mighty Sports, Rain or Shine, and Globalport.
“This hosting is for the country. It’s a great honor. The Filipinos deserve it,” said Pangilinan.
“If there’s anything, any legacy I’d like to leave to the sport of basketball, it’s that the Philippines, after so many years, will be at the center of the world in the sport of basketball,” said the 71-year-old Pangilinan, more known as MVP.
This year, the Philippines through the SBP, will also host the FIBA 3x3 World Cup.
In 2016, Gilas 3.0 also received the President’s Award from the country’s oldest media organization for its surprising silver-medal finish in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship, falling one victory short of the elusive slot to the Summer Olympics.
Past awardees include UAAP basketball champions Ateneo Blue Eagles and National University Bulldogs, billiards champions Rubilen Amit, Dennis Orcollo and Lee Van Corteza and slalom racing champion Milo Rivera.
The Executive of the Year award, NSA (National Sports Association) of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Awards, major awards, citations, among others, will likewise be given out by the country’s oldest media organization during the formal rites.