Philippine sports’ best recognized at PSA Awards after banner year
MANILA, Philippines—After a banner year in Philippine sports, the country’s best athletes were feted by the Philippine Sportswriters Association in its annual awards night Friday at Manila Hotel.
The nation’s contingent for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games was named as the collective Athlete of the Year after the Philippines topped the regional competition with 149 gold medals while the Executive of the Year plum was given to Philippine Sports Commission chairman William “Butch” Ramirez.
Legendary cue artist Efren “Bata” Reyes was given the Lifetime Achievement Award and even though the Philippines had such strong showing in the SEA Games, The Magician called for unity between the country’s sporting leaders.
“I’m calling the sports leaders that this is the time to throw away personal interests so we can give the proper service to our athletes,” said Reyes in Filipino. “These people are the foundation of sports here in our country.”
The Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines was the year’s National Sports Association after Filipino boxers collected seven gold medals in the SEA Games.
Nesthy Petecio was also the featherweight World champion while Eumir Marcial was the middleweight silver medalist in the International Boxing Association (Aiba) World Championships.
Gymnast Carlos Yulo, who was the World Champion in Floor Exercise, was given the President’s Awards.
Some of athletes were not present to accept their awards as they are currently preparing for the Tokyo Olympics.
National University’s Patrick Aquino was named Coach of the Year after leading the Lady Bulldogs to a fifth straight UAAP title and an unprecedented 97 consecutive wins.
Aquino also steered Gilas Pilipinas Women’s to the SEA Games gold medal while his power forward Jack Danielle Animam was Ms. Basketball.
Thirdy Ravena was named Mr. Basketball after leading Ateneo to two straight UAAP titles while fellow collegiate athletes Cherry Rondina and Bryan Bagunas were the Ms. Volleyball and Mr. Volleyball awardees, respectively.
Rondina won the MVP in Season 81 while leading University of Santo Tomas to a silver medal finish while Bagunas, who was the MVP in the men’s division, led the Bulldogs to the 2019 title.
The Philippine Azkals’ Stephan Schrock was named Mr. Football and Bianca Pagdanganan was Ms. Golf.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.