Filipino hoop fans get PSA ‘sixth man’ recognition
MANILA, Philippines–The Filipino basketball fans will get their well-deserved spot in the pantheon of Philippine sports as the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) honors them along with the best and the brightest of 2013 a week from now.
Acclaimed as among the most passionate hoop fans in the world, the basketball public will be honored for inspiring Gilas Pilipinas during its improbable run in the Fiba Asia Men’s Championship, where the national team clinched a berth in the world championship for the first time in 35 years.
The PSA will bestow on the Filipino basketball fans a special Sixth Man Award during the Annual Awards Night presented by Milo, with Air21 as major sponsor.
Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) commissioner Chito Salud and Board of Governors chair Ramon Segismundo of Meralco will be accepting the award from the country’s oldest media organization in behalf of the Filipino fans on Jan. 25 at the Centennial Hall of Manila Hotel.
Coach Chot Reyes counted on the Filipino crowd as his powerful “Sixth Man” during Gilas’ 11-day run in the qualifier of the Fiba World Cup last August at Mall of Asia Arena.
The outpouring of support was none more obvious during the semifinal match between the Philippines and long-time rival South Korea when 19,000 cheering fans packed the MOA Arena and provided the Nationals the energy and inspiration they needed in hacking out a dramatic 86-79 victory that clinched for the country a berth in the world championship and a spot in the gold medal play against Iran.
Gilas Pilipinas was named 2013 Athlete of the Year by the PSA during its yearly affair being held in partnership with Smart Sports, PSC, Sen. Chiz Escudero, Accel at 3XVI, PCSO, Rain or Shine, Globalport, PBA, ICTSI-Philippine Golf Tour, SM Prime Holdings, and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.