KELLY Williams getting a second wind in his career and Chris Ross doing what he does best earn both players distinction from the Philippine Basketball Association Press Corps during the staging of its 24th Annual Awards Night on Nov. 30 at the Gloria Maris Restaurant inside the Gateway Mall in Cubao.
The 35-year-old Williams is the recipient of the ‘Bogs Adornado Comeback Player of the Year’ award in honor of the former PBA great who successfully returned from a career-threatening injury to become one of only three players to win three MVP titles in the 42-year history of the league.
Williams, himself a former MVP, beat out Barangay Ginebra big man Greg Slaughter for the special honor handed out by the group of sportswriters who regularly cover the PBA beat.
Bong Alvarez was the first ever recipient of the award in 1993.
Ross on the other hand ran away with the Mighty Sports Defensive Player of the Year award for the second straight season as he won over Gabe Norwood (Rain or Shine) Japeth Aguilar (Barangay Ginebra), Jio Jalalon (Star) and San Miguel teammate June Mar Fajardo. All five are members of the league’s All-Defensive team.
The San Miguel guard will also receive a special plaque during the formal affair presented by Cignal TV for being the PBAPC’s Finals MVP during the Philippine Cup, which the Beermen won. Also to be presented with the same recognition are Commissioner’s Cup Finals MVP Alex Cabagnot and Governors Cup counterpart LA Tenorio.
The presentation of the Coach of the Year serves as the main part of the two-hour program and will be handed out by the family of the late great mentor Virgilio ‘Baby’ Dalupan in whose memory the award is being honored.
Another major award to be given is the Executive of the Year named after the amiable late Crispa team owner Danny Floro.
For the first time in more than two decades, the PBAPC will also recognize its first ever Game of the Season.
Others to be feted include Jalalon (Mr. Quality Minutes), Tenorio (Order of Merit), Terrence Romeo (Mighty Sports Scoring Champion), the quintet of Roger Pogoy, Matthew Wright, Jalalon, Kevin Ferrer, and Reden Celda (All-Rookie team), as well as the All-Interview team of coach Tim Cone, Marc Pingris, Jayson Castro, Ranidel de Ocampo, Beau Belga and Tenorio.
Also during the program to be hosted by Rizza Diaz and Sev Sarmenta, the official PBAPC Facebook page will be launched.