SPORTSMEN and beloved friends of Philippine sports who passed away last year will be remembered in the San Miguel Corporation-Philippine Sportswriters Association (SMC-PSA) Annual Awards Night this Saturday, March 27.
Athletes, coaches, officials, and supporters of sports will be honored posthumously during the virtual rite at the TV5 Media Center.
Never in recent memory has there been a long list of sportsmen who passed on to the Great Beyond than in 2020, with the likes of former Ambassador and basketball godfather Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, national team coaches Januario “Aric” Del Rosario and Nic Jorge, Olympians Alfonso “Boy” Marquez and Orlando “Orly” Bauzon, grand matriarch of Philippine boxing Laura Elorde, and the PSA’s very own Teddyvic Melendres, former sports and senior news desk editor of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and PSA president from 2009-2011, among others.
A moment of silence and a special video presentation will be shown in their memory during the early part of the program presented by San Miguel Corporation (SMC) and backed by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and Cignal TV.
The first virtual PSA Awards Night will be aired on March 28 over OneSports+ from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., with 1Pacman Partylist, Chooks-to-Go, and Rain or Shine as major backers.
Also to be honored posthumously are Inaki Vicente, Arianne Caoili, Salvador “Buddy” Andrada, Maui Huelar, Jomar Ang, Domingo “Coach Waray” Villanueva, Gene Poliarco, Alexander Lim, Bea Luna, Junel Mendiola, Ollie Ongtawco, Yana Bautista, Oscar “Dodong” Bascon, Albert Almendralejo, Ronald Dulay, Randy Villanueva, Rudy Del Rosario, Vangie De Jesus, Sudan Daniel, Rico Navarro, and Josie Veguillas.
At the top of the PSA honor roll is pro golfer Yuka Saso, who will receive the prestigious Athlete of the Year Award given by the country’s oldest media organization headed by Tito S. Talao, sports editor of the Manila Bulletin.
Other awards to be handed out are the President’s Award (POC President Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino), Executive of the Year (PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial), National Sports Association of the Year (Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines), and Major Awardees (Alex Eala, Johnriel Casimero, and Pedro Taduran).
Three sports pillars will be honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards – former Gintong Alay Project Director Jose A. Romasanta, former PBA Commissioner Renauld “Sonny” Barrios, and Cojuangco – boxing great Manny Pacquiao is the recipient of the “Manok ng Bayan” award, while citations and a special recognition will be given to 20 personalities and entities as well as athletes who served as frontliners against the pandemic.
Hosts of the event are Gretchen Ho and Carlo Pamintuan.