The best of Philippine sports in 2017 gather in a grand celebration recognizing their exploits during the SMC-PSA (Philippine Sportswriters Association) Annual Awards Night at the Maynila Hall of the historic Manila Hotel on Tuesday.
Three world champions in boxer Jerwin Ancajas, bowler Krizziah Lyn Tabora, and billiards player Carlo Biado are on top of the honor roll list as co-recipients of the PSA-Tapa King Athlete of the Year award handed out by the country’s oldest media organization in the yearly affair presented by MILO and Cignal TV.
Ancajas, the pride of Panabo, Davao del Norte, made three successful defenses of his International Boxing Federation (IBF) super-flyweight title last year; Tabora crowned herself the women’s champion of the 53rd QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup, while Biado reigned as the new World 9-Ball king.
The country’s top sports officials led by Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William ‘Butch’ Ramirez, newly-elected Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Ricky Vargas, and his predecessor former Congressman Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco are expected to lead the country’s sports community in honoring them and the rest of the year’s awardees – numbering 105 in all.
“On behalf of the PSA, we would like to congratulate all of our awardees. May they continue to inspire their fellow athletes in the hope of further uplifting the state of Philippine sports,” said president Dodo Catacutan of SPIN.ph.
Department of Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol, a former sportswriter, columnist, and boxing analyst before he ventured into public service, will be the guest of honor and keynote speaker.
The PSC serves as major sponsor of the formal rites which is also backed by the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), Mighty Sports, Smart, Rain or Shine, and Globalport.
The Philippine bid team led by sportsman-business man Manny V. Pangilinan which successfully clinched the hosting of the 2023 FIBA World Cup, also shares the limelight as the recipient of the President’s Award.
The Executive of the Year honor, meanwhile, will be shared by San Miguel Corp. big boss Ramon S. Ang and Standard Insurance’s Jude Echauz.
The Triathlon Association of the Philippines is the hands-down choice as the National Sports Association (NSA) of the Year, while veteran newsman and former sports editor Augusto ‘Gus’ Villanueva will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Special awards will be given to June Mar Fajardo (Mighty Sports Mr. Basketball), Marck Espejo and Dawn Macandili (Mr and Ms. Volleyball), and Clyde Mondilla (Mr. Golf), along with basketball star Terrence Romeo, who is the choice for the Mr. Fan Favorite “Manok ng Bayan’ Award.
Major Awards are also to be given out, along with the regular Tony Siddayao Awards and the MILO Junior Athletes of the Year, even as the gold medal winners in the last Southeast Asian Games and the ASEAN Para Games lead the long list who will be receiving citations.