A GATHERING of past and present cage luminaries will toast the brightest individual performers in the last PBA season when the PBA Press Corps’ 'A Banquet of Heroes' is presented by Meralco on Tuesday night at posh Wack Wack Golf Club.
The Coach of the Year and the Executive of the Year will be known in the formal affair that starts at 7 p.m. even as the journey of Gilas Pilipinas back to the World Championship stage will be recounted by no less than Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president and PBA team owner Manny V. Pangilinan.
Luigi Trillo of Alaska is the hot pick to win the Coach of the Year award, named after the legendary Baby Dalupan, while Team PBA, after a smashing take at the gates, is expected to romp off with the Danny Floro Executive of the Year trophy.
The Bogs Adornado trophy for the Comeback Player of the Year will also be handed out and the SK Zic-All-Rookie Team will be known even as LA Tenorio of Barangay Ginebra will accept the Accel Order of Merit award for being the player with most Player of the Week citations last season.
Gary David, who will play for new team Meralco when the 39th Season opens on Sunday, won the Scoring Champ title for the second straight year, while Marc Pingris of San Mig Coffee was the unanimous choice for a second Defensive Player of the Year trophy.
Quinito Henson, Sev Sarmenta and Erika Padilla will emcee the affair, where members of the 1973 and 1986 champion Asian Basketball Confederation (the forerunner of the Fiba-Asia) will be present to toast the Gilas Five.
Aside from Adornado, Manny Paner, Yoyong Martirez and Jimmy Mariano will be present for the 1973 team, while Samboy Lim, Hector Calma, Jerry Codinera, Tonichiu Yturri and Franz Pumaren will represent the 1986 squad.
The Inquirer’s Musong R. Castillo, the outgoing PBA Press Corps president, is inviting management, players and officials of the teams as well as fellow sportswriters to attend the affair.