THREE achievers each from basketball, taekwondo, and boxing lead a large group of athletes who will be conferred with major awards by the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) in formal rites on January 25 at the Centennial Hall of the Manila Hotel.
Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) reigning MVP Arwind Santos, World Boxing Organization (WBO) light-flyweight champion Donnie 'Ahas' Nietes, and the men and women’s poomsae teams that won gold medals in the world championship in Bali, Indonesia are among the 17 major awardees to be honored during the PSA Annual Awards Night presented by MILO, with Air21 as major sponsor.
Terrence Romeo and Raymond Almazan are the two others from the field of basketball who will be recognized for their achievements after emerging as MVPs of the UAAP and NCAA leagues, respectively.
Merlito Sabillo and John Riel Casimero, on the other hand, join Nietes as major awardees in boxing for retaining their respective WBO and International Boxing Federation (IBF) titles last year, while young and charming Pauline Louise Lopez will also be presented with the same award along with the trios of Jean Pierre Sabido, Ernesto Guzman Jr., and Glenn Lava (men’s poomsae team) and Mikeala Calamba, Rinna Babanto, and Jocel Ley Ninobla in taekwondo.
Youthful golfers Princess Mary Superal and Clare Amelia `Mia’ Legaspi, along with Grandmaster Wesley So, BMX rider Daniel Caluag, wushu bet Benjamin 'Benjie' Rivera,trackster Archand Christian Bagsit, champion jockey Jesse Guce, and racer Eduardo Jose 'Jody' Coseteng complete the list of major awardees.
The Gilas Pilipinas team tops the list of 123 personalities and entities that will be cited by the country’s oldest media organization during its yearly affair held in partnership with Smart Sports, Senator Chiz Escudero, Accel at 3XVI, Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Rain or Shine, Globalport, Philippine Basketball Association, ICTSI-Philippine Golf Tour, and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
The national basketball team coached by Chot Reyes is the 2013 PSA Athlete of the Year.
Manny V. Pangilinan, acknowledged as the biggest supporter of Gilas Pilipinas and president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) is the recipient of the Executive of the Year award, while the President’s Award will be handed out to pool players Rubilen Amit, Dennis Orcollo, Lee Van Corteza, and Calamba, following an outstanding year that saw each of them win world titles.
There will also be awards to be given to the outstanding national sports association of 2013, Lifetime Achievement, Mr. Football, and Miss Volleyball during the formal gathering to be aired live by longtime PSA partner DZSR Sports Radio 918.
Others to be handed out are the Sixth Man Award, Milo Junior Athlete Awards, Tony Siddayao Award for deserving youth athletes, citations for the gold medalists of the Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar and other group and personalities, as well as posthumous awards to dearly departed friends of Philippine sports.