BASKETBALL superstar June Mar Fajardo towers above a long list of personalities to be cited for major awards by the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) in its coming Annual Awards Night presented by San Miguel and MILO.
The 6-foot-10 Fajardo, main man of back-to-back PBA Philippine Cup champion San Miguel, will be honored for his excellence in pro basketball after winning a second straight Most Valuable Player (MVP) plum last season.
It will be the second PSA major award for the pride of Pinamungahan, Cebu, who was also the honoree for the same category last year by the 67-year-old media organization, the oldest ever in the country.
Rey Mark Belo and Mark Cruz of champion teams Far Eastern University and Letran, respectively, are the major awardees in amateur basketball. Both players emerged as Finals MVP of the UAAP and NCAA.
Eleven other athletes who made their mark in their respective sports are going to be honored with a major award during the Feb. 13 affair at the One Esplanade with the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) as major sponsor and with support from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Sen. Chiz Escudero, SM Prime Holdings, MVP Sports Foundation, Smart, Maynilad, National University, One Esplanade, Rain or Shine, Globalport, Philippine Basketball Association, and the Philippine Amusement
and Gaming Corp.
The major awards list include Southeast Asian Games sprint double gold medalists Eric Shauwn Cray, pool teen sensation Chezka Centeno, cycling champion Santy Barnachea, Cyna Rodriguez and Princess Mary Superal, representing pro and amateur golf, and rider Raniel Resuello.
Not to be missed out are wushu world championship gold medal winners Divine Wally and Arnel Mandal, jockey Jonathan Hernandez, and the tennis pair of Katharina Lehnert and Alberto ‘AJ’ Lim.
On top of the honor roll list are the duo of world boxing champions Nonito Donaire Jr. and Donnie Nietes, along with Asian Tour winner Miguel Tabuena, all of whom will be feted with the prestigious Athlete of the Year honor during the formal rite to be hosted by Quinito Henson and Patricia Bermudez-Hizon.
Coach Tab Baldwin and his Gilas Pilipinas team which clinched a surprise runner-up finish in last year’s FIBA-Asia Men’s Championship in Changsha, China is the PSA’s choice as President’s award, the Wushu Federation of the Philippines gets the nod as the National Sports Association (NSA) of the Year, and sports great Filomeno ‘Boy’ Codinera will be feted with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Talented and highly-popular Alyssa Valdez is again named as Ms. Volleyball, while cage stars Terrence Romeo and Calvin Abueva will share the award for Mr. Basketball.
An award for the Executive of the Year will likewise be handed out.
The gold medalists in both the Southeast Asian Games and the Para Games lead those to be handed out with citations.
Posthumous awards, the Tony Siddayao awards for outstanding athletes aged 17 and below, and the annual MILO Outstanding Athletes for boys and girls will also be part of the two-hour program.