MANILA - A pair of Gin Kings took home the first awards in the PBA's special ceremony that recognized the outstanding players in the 2020 All-Filipino Conference.
Versatile guard Scottie Thompson earned the Sportsmanship Award, while sweet-shooting forward Prince Caperal was adjudged the Most Improved Player of the season.
The PBA handed the awards in a virtual ceremony on Sunday evening, in place of the traditional Leo Awards. The league had completed just one conference last season, holding the Philippine Cup in a biosecure bubble in Clark, Pampanga due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thompson, who hit key shots in Ginebra's run to the All-Filipino title, said he was honored to have won the trophy that was previously awarded to Rain or Shine veteran Gabe Norwood.
"Sobrang blessed lang, following 'yung footsteps ni Kuya Gabe in playing the game the right way," he said.
Caperal, meanwhile, earned the Most Improved Player award after averaging 7.8 points and 3.9 rebounds for the Gin Kings in the conference. He emerged as a three-point threat for Ginebra, as he shot 42 percent from beyond the arc.
"Sobrang saya. Kahit papaano, na-recognize 'yung improvement sa game ko," said Caperal. "Gusto ko magpasalamat sa coaching staff, sa teammates ko. 'Di ko naman makukuha ang award na 'yun kun'di dahil sa kanila."