TWO eminent sports federations with equally distinguished leaders have been chosen by the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) as the top National Sports Associations (NSAs) for the year 2012.
The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) and the National Golf Association of the Philippines (NGAP) share the limelight as co-awardees of the NSA of the Year plum during the PSA-Milo Annual Awards Night this Saturday at the grand ballroom of the Manila Hotel.
Top sportsman-businessman Manny V. Pangilinan has been responsible for the recent resurgence of the body whose sport remains as the no. 1 passion of the Filipino people, while multi-titled sportsman and former amateur standout Tommy Manotoc is readily making his mark in only his first year as head of the country’s golf organization.
“The (NSA of the Year) award is not just about the success or accomplishments of a sports body, but also reflects on the programs that contribute to its growth and success, which the (PSA) Board believes have been embodied by both the SBP and NGAP,” said PSA president Rey Bancod of Tempo.
Other previous NSA of the Year recipients included the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines, Philippine Taekwondo Association, Wushu Federation of the Philippines, Philippine Dragon Boat Federation, Philippine Aquatics Sports Association, Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines, and the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association.
This marks the first time the SBP and NGAP have been honored with the award by the country’s oldest media organization during its yearly gala night presented by San Miguel Corp., LBC, Smart, Globalport 900, the Philippine Basketball Association, Senator Chiz Escudero, SM Prime Holdings, Philippine Sports Commission, Rain or Shine, ICTSI and Philippine Golf Tour, and Meralco.
The year 2012 saw Gilas Pilipinas of coach Chot Reyes winning for the country the William Jones Cup basketball tournament for the first time in 14 years and made the semifinals against a tough field during the FIBA-Asia Cup.
But in his quest to put the country back in the world basketball map, Pangilinan aggressively lobbied and never stopped in his bid until the country was finally awarded the rights to host the FIBA-Asia cage meet that serves as qualifier to the 2014 World Basketball Championship. This will be the first time in 40 years the Philippines is staging the biggest basketball tournament in the region.
Manotoc meanwhile, was straight to the point and easily sets his sight on strengthening the talent discovery and grassroots development of the NGAP the moment he assumed its presidency.
The golf leader has immediately put together a new batch of players, whom he hopes will carry the country’s colors in future staging of the Southeast Asian Games, Asian Games, Putra Cup and the world amateurs. As he said it, the way up is to have a `solid foundation.’
Both the SBP and NGAP are part of a long list of honorees to be recognized by the PSA on the night the Manila women’s softball team, Ateneo Blue Eagles, and boxing champions Josie Gabuco, and Nonito Donaire Jr. will be recognized as co-winners of the coveted Athlete of the Year award.