MANILA, Philippines - It will be one memorable January night for the men of the “11 days in August”.
For their heroic exploits against the best in Asia during the Fiba Asia Championship last August, the men of Gilas Pilipinas will be given a fitting tribute by being named Athlete of the Year by the Philippine Sportswriters Association in elaborate rites at Manila Hotel tonight.
Their feat shone brightest, making a tremendous impact as the nation reclaimed its old place in world basketball.
And for this, the nationals will be given due recognition by the PSA that will serve as highlight in its Annual Awards Night together with other top achievers.
Program proper for the Annual Awards Night presented by MILO and with Air21 as major sponsor starts at 7:30 p.m. with the country’s top sports officials led by Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, Jr.; Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Richie Garcia, International Olympic Committee (IOC) representative to the country Mikee Cojuangco- Jaworski, among others, expected to be in attendance.
The Filipino cagers settled for a runner- up finish behind Iran in the FIBA-Asia Men’s Championship here last August, but their silver medal feat definitely glittered like gold as it earned for the country a berth back to the FIBA-World Cup 35 years after it last saw action in the quadrennial meet.
Gilas Pilipinas will only be the fifth team to become the recipient of the Athlete of the Year award given out by the country’s oldest media organization during its yearly affair held in partnership with Smart Sports, Philippine Sports Commission, Sen. Chiz Escudero, Philippine Basketball Association, SM Prime Holdings, Rain or Shine, Globalport, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., ICTSI-Philippine Golf Tour, Accel 3XVI
Previous teams honored with the same title since the revival of the PSA Awards Night in 1981 were Team Philippines (2005), Taekwondo women’s poomsae team (2009), Ateneo Blue Eagles (2012), and Manila softball women’s team (2012).
Sharing centerstage with the Spain- bound basketball team is the man behind the creation of Gilas Pilipinas in Manny V. Pangilinan, who is the recipient of the Executive of the Year honor in the first PSA awards rite under president Lorenzo “Jun” Lomibao of the Business Mirror.
Lomibao will personally bestow the President’s Award to world champions Rubilen Amit, Dennis Orcollo, and Lee Van Corteza of billiards, along with young taekwondo jin Mikeala Calamba.
A total of 17 major awards will also be handed out during the affair to be aired live over DZSR Sports Radio 918, along with the Most Outstanding National Sports Association, Sixth Man Award, Lifetime Achievement Award, Mr. Football, Ms. Volleyball, MILO Junior Athlete of the Year, Tony Siddayao Award, Citations, and Posthumous.
Veteran broadcaster and sports columnist Quinito Henson and Patricia Bermudez-Hizon are hosting the event that will honor the men and women’s poomsae teams that won gold medals in the world championship and Southeast Asian Games, respectively, providing the intermission numbers along with Gerald Jamili and Cherry Clarice Parcon of dancesport as they reprise their gold-winning performance in the Asian Indoor Games.
Former recipients of the coveted Athlete of the Year honor are also invited during the gathering. Meanwhile, those who failed to personally receive their respective invitations can get their respective invites at the lobby of the Manila Hotel Centennial Hall.
The complete list of 2013 PSA Awardees
Athlete of the Year – Gilas Pilipinas President’s Award – Rubilen Amit, Dennis Orcollo, Lee Van Corteza, Mikeala Calamba
Executive of the Year – Manny V. Pangilinan
National Sports Association of the Year – Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas
Major Awardees - Arwind Santos, Terrence Romeo, Raymond Almazan, Donnie Nietes, Merlito Sabillo, John Riel Casimero, Pauline Lopez, Men’s poomsae team, women’s poomsae team, Wesley So, Daniel Caluag, Benjie Rivera, Mia Legaspi, Princess Superal, Archand Christian Bagsit, Jesse Guce, Jody Coseteng
Sixth Man Award – Gilas Pilipinas supporters
Lifetime Achievement Award – Caloy Loyzaga, Frank Elizalde, Moying Martelino
Mr. Football - Stephan Schröck
Ms. Volleyball - Abigail Maraño, Alyssa Valdez
MILO Junior Athletes of the Year – Regina Erin Castrillo, Rafael Barreto
Citations – Myanmar SEA Games gold medalists, PH U16 basketball team, PH U18 3x3 basketball team, NU Bullpups, San Beda Red Cubs, San Miguel Beermen, PSC, Treat Huey, Erik Spoelstra, Tim Cone, Kobe Paras, Jason Day, Dottie Ardina, PH Putra Cup team, Irish Valenzuela, and Eumir Felix Marcial, Kenneth San Andres, Michael Christian Martinez, Mike Barredo, Gerald Jamili and Cherry Clarice Parcon, Jennyrose Rosales, Meldion Pinon.