Athletes-frontliners to be cited by PSA

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    FILIPINO athletes still did their share even with local sports on a standstill following the outbreak of COVID-19 cases last year.

    Sportsmen who are enlisted personnel answered the call of duty and served as frontliners to assist the country as it struggled to cope with the global health pandemic.

    In appreciation of their efforts and supreme sacrifice, they will be given a special recognition in the San Miguel Corporation-Philippine Sportswriters Association (SMC-PSA) Annual Awards Night this Saturday, March 27, at the TV5 Media Center.

    The special citation is part of the awards the country’s oldest media organization headed by Tito S. Talao will hand out in the event presented by San Miguel Corporation (SMC) and backed by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and Cignal TV.

    The virtual Awards Night will be aired on March 28 over OneSports+ from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and has for major backers 1Pacman Partylist, Chooks-to-Go, and Rain or Shine.

    Southeast Asian Games gold medal winners Nikko Huelgas and Claire Adorna of triathlon, Philippine men’s volleyball coach Dante Alinsunurin and players Jessie Lopez and Ranran Abadilla, UST Tigresses mentor Kung Fu Reyes, and Philippine women’s national team member Jovelyn Gonzaga were some of the athletes-frontliners who went out of their way to serve the country when help was needed.

    Huelgas, 29, was even given a military merit medal by the Philippine Air Force for his immediate response.

    Pro golfer Yuka Saso will join Huelgas and company during the awards rite as the recipient of the prestigious Athlete of the Year award given out by the country’s sportswriting fraternity.

    Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President and Rep. Abraham “Bambol’ Tolentino is the recipient of the President’s Award while PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial will receive the Executive of the Year honor.

    Sports pillars Jose A. Romasanta, former PBA commissioner Renauld “Sonny” Barrios, and the late ambassador and basketball godfather Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco will be honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards while to be cited as major awardees are 2020 world boxing champions Johnriel Casimero and Pedro Taduran, along with young, world-ranked netter Alex Eala.

    Citations will also be given to 20 personalities and entities as well as the “Manok ng Bayan” award for boxing icon Manny Pacquiao.