OLYMPIC silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz, multi-titled PBA coach Tim Cone and San Miguel's history-setting champion team lead the nominees for the 2016 SPIN.ph Sportsman of the Year awards.
Diaz, who became the first Filipina to win an Olympic medal after her runner-up finish in weightlifting in Rio de Janeiro, is a shoo-in for a place on the elite list of SPIN.ph's 10 Sports Heroes of 2016 - from where the 2016 Sportsman of the Year will be picked.
The winners, selected by a panel made up of SPIN.ph's editors, writers, contributors, and columnists, will be announced during simple rites at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Ortigas on Saturday (February 4).
The ceremony will begin at 7 p.m.
Previously honored by the country's first full-staff, standalone website with the Sportsman of the Year award were Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes in 2013, former Gilas captain Jimmy Alapag in 2014 and Alaska star Calvin Abueva in 2015.
Other nominees for 2016 were San Miguel, which pulled off the greatest comeback in PBA history by beating Alaska in the Philippine Cup finals from 0-3 down, as well as Cone and the Ginebra Kings, who ended an eight-year title drought by ruling the PBA Governors Cup.
Also considered are MMA fighter Eduard Folayang, Rio Paralympics bronze medalist Josephine Medina, newly minted Filipina chess grandmaster Janelle Mae Frayna, UAAP basketball champion La Salle, its coach Aldin Ayo, volleyball star Jaja Santiago, and UAAP champions La Salle Lady Spikers.
As in past years, SPIN.ph will also reserve places in its 10 Sports Heroes for student athletes who excelled in academics, parathletes who made waves during the year, and sportsmen with admirable advocacies.
Starting this year, SPIN.ph will also hand out a Readers' Choice award, giving its millions of loyal readers a voice in the selection. The winner of the two-week voting will be announced during the awards night.