THE Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Press Corps looks back one final time in the season just past when it honors the top individual achievers and personalities during its Annual Awards Night Wednesday at the Century Park Hotel.
Twelve awardees share the limelight on this special night as the men and women who regularly cover the PBA beat pay tribute to them for making the league’s 40th year a truly memorable one.
Heading the honor roll list is San Miguel’s Leo Austria, the hands down choice as recipient of the Virgilio ‘Baby’ Dalupan Coach of the Year trophy after steering the Beermen to two of the three conference championships at stake.
Austria becomes only the 12th recipient of the coveted award named after the legendary coach they called ‘The Maestro’ and a first time winner of the trophy first handed out by the PBAPC in 1993.
The formal affair presented by Smart Sports starts at 7 p.m. with Sev Sarmenta and the sultry Patricia Bermudez-Hizon as hosts.
Former chairman and Talk ‘N Text alternate governor Patrick Gregorio joins Austria in the roster of awardees as he will be feted with the Danny Floro Executive of the Year award held in honor of the late amiable Crispa team owner.
New league commissioner Chito Narvasa will be the special guest speaker of the celebration to be attended too, by president and CEO Chito Salud, chairman Robert Non of San Miguel, and governors and their respective alternates within the PBA board.
Other awardees to be honored during the affair also sponsored by SCBC-8 Entertainment Corporation and Accel, are San Miguel’s June Mar Fajardo and Alex Cabagnot, Calvin Abueva, Terrence Romeo, Paul Lee, and members of the All-Rookie team.
Fajardo is named the Gerry’s Grill-Defensive Player of the Year, Cabagnot with the William ‘Bogs’ Adornado Comeback Player of the Year, Abueva is Mr. Quality Minutes, Paul Lee with the Order of Merit, Terrence Romeo as Scoring Champion, and the All-Rookie Team of Stanley Pringle, Chris Banchero, Jericho Cruz, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, and Jake Pascual.