THEIR exploits brought pride and joy to the country. It’s only fitting that they will celebrate sporting excellence together.
The country’s top sports achievers take centerstage tonight in the Philippine Sportswriters Association-MILO Annual Awards Night at Centennial Hall of Manila Hotel.
Fifty-nine personalities make up the honor roll with world champion boxers Nonito Donaire Jr. and Josie Gabuco and champion teams Ateneo Blue Eagles and Manila softball team headlining the elite list. They will receive the coveted Athlete of the Year from the country’s oldest media organization headed by Rey Bancod of Tempo.
While Donaire has won the award twice, Gabuco, the Eagles and the world champion Manila softbelles are first-time honorees.
The major awards in various sports include the President’s Award (Smart Gilas Pilipinas), Executive of the Year (Chito Salud), NSAs of the Year (SBP and NGAP), Mr. Football (Chieffy Caligdong and Eduard Sacapano), Outstanding High School Players (Axel Toni Ngui and Kirsten Chloe Daos), and Tony Siddayao Award.
A minute of silence will be offered to prominent athletes and friends of sports who died last year.
Keynoting the ceremony is sportsman-businessman Mikee Romero, who will also serve as guest of honor in the two-hour gala that starts at 7:30 p.m.
Hosting the event are basketball great Benjie Paras and courtside reporter Ai dela Cruz, while Isabelle De Leon will add glamour to the event that will be attended by top sports officials led by Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose Cojuangco Jr. and Philippine Sports Commission chair Ritchie Garcia.
Long-time PSA partner dzSR Sports Radio 918 will broadcast live the event presented by the PSC, San Miguel Corp., Smart, Philippine Basketball Association, Globalport 900, Rain or Shine, LBC, Meralco, Sen. Chiz Escudero, SM Prime Holdings, and ICTSI and Philippine Golf Tour.