THE PBA Press Corps has decided to suspend at the last minute the staging of its 2019 Awards Night in the aftermath of President Duterte imposing a ‘community quarantine’ in the entire Metro Manila area to prevent the continuous spread of the coronavirus disease.
The affair was scheduled to be held on March 16 at the Novotel Manila in Araneta City, or a day after the full implementation of the safety measures which the President announced Thursday night.
The decision to reschedule the event at a later date is to ensure the health and safety of the awardees, guests, friends, and members of the working press.
Highlight of the event, now on its 26th year and presented by CIGNAL TV, is the naming of the Virgilio ‘Baby’ Dalupan Coach of the Year award, being disputed by champion mentors Leo Austria of San Miguel and Barangay Ginebra’s Tim Cone.
The PBAPC had earlier announced the first batch of awardees for this year that includes six-time MVP winner June Mar Fajardo (Order of Merit), CJ Perez (Scoring champion), D-League Finals MVPs (Thirdy Ravena and Hesed Gabo), All-Interview Team (Kiefer Ravena, Christian Standhardinger, Vic Manuel, Arwind Santos, Beau Belga, and coach Yeng Guiao), All-Rookie Team (Perez, Robert Bolick, Javee Mocon, Bobby Ray Parks, and Abu Tratter), and Game of the Season (NLEX vs. NorthPort).
At the same time, the PBAPC extends its gratitude to the management of Novotel Manila for giving the group utmost flexibility following its move to call off the awards night even late in the day.
Michee Crudo, sales director of Novotel, stressed that health and the safety of its clientele and the public in general is above anything else, reason why management has given the men and women regularly covering the PBA beat some leeway to hold the event at a later date.
The PBAPC assured Novotel it will hold the event at such time when the situation normalizes as per the parameters set by the government through the Department of Health.
The PBAPC and Novotel’s partnership is now on its second year after the group staged at the same venue its 25th year anniversary celebration last year.