PCCL honors Ateneo gunner LongBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines– Cited for his academic and sports achievements, Ateneo’s Kirk Long led the top varsity players honored by the Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) Friday in an awards ceremony at the 9501 Restaurant in the ABS-CBN compound.
Long, who played a key role in the Blue Eagles’ championship runs in the UAAP and the PCCL, bagged the Model National Collegiate Player of the Year award for putting premium on his “collegiate education while playing competitive basketball” aside from “consistently upholding the high standards of performance and sportsmanship.”
San Sebastian’s explosive duo of Ian Sangalang (Season MVP) and Calvin Abueva (Game Changer) also copped honors for powering the Stags to a historic PCCL championship.
Topex Robinson picked up the Best Coach plum for mentoring the Stags, who dethroned the Blue Eagles to become the first NCAA team to bag the title of the nationwide tournament.
PCCL chair Rey Gamboa said the league gave the highest individual award to Long since the American guard proved to be “worthy of emulation as a role model.”
Joining Sangalang and Abueva in the Mythical Team were Ateneo’s Greg Slaughter and Nico Salva and University of Cebu’s June Mar Fajardo.
National University (Upstart Award) and La Salle (Fortitude Award) were also recognized for their competitive showing in the Sweet 16.
Bagging the Breakthrough Performance citations for barging into the Sweet 16 for the first time were University of Northern Philippines (Northern-Central Luzon champion), University of Batangas (South Luzon-Bicol champion), AMA-Ormoc (Visayas champion) and STI-Cagayan de Oro (Mindanao champion).
Other individual awardees were athletic directors Ato Badolato of San Beda (Eye for Talent) and San Sebastian’s Francisco Gusi (Motivator of the Year) and Romy Mangibin (Best Referee).