THE best of the last 42nd Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) season will be feted in its own little way by the PBA Press Corps (PBAPC) as it holds its Annual Awards Night Thursday at the Gloria Maris Restaurant inside the Gateway Mall at the Araneta Center in Cubao.
Leo Austria takes centerstage during the formal affair presented by Cignal TV, as he is set to receive a third straight Coach of the Year award and the distinction of being the first ever mentor to be the recipient of the perpetual Virgilio “Baby” Dalupan trophy held in honor of the late prodigious Filipino coach.
The perpetual trophy is handed out to the person who wins the Coach of the Year Award three straight seasons. Austria, who steered San Miguel to two championships in the just concluded season, including a third straight Philippine Cup title to bring home the Jun Bernardino Perpetual Trophy, has won the honor since 2015.
San Miguel Corp. President and Chief Executive Officer Ramon S. Ang will also be cited with a special honor by the men and women who regularly cover the PBA beat, bestowing on him the Danny Floro Executive of the Year award named after the amiable big boss of the multi-titled Crispa Redmanizers franchise.
Congressman Mikee Romero of 1Pacman party list and Globalport team owner, is expected to grace the affair as the league’s outgoing chairman, and will be joined by his successor Ramon Fernandez of NLEX.
The ceremony is going to witness the awarding of the PBAPC’s first ever Game of the Season to be bestowed on the Barangay Ginebra-Star Governors Cup duel held last Sept. 3.
The other regular awards will still be there such as the William ‘Bogs’ Adornado Comeback Player of the Year to Kelly Williams of TnT Katropa, the Mighty Sports Defensive Player of the Year on San Miguel’s Chris Ross, and Mr. Quality Minutes to Jio Jalalon of Star.
The Finals MVP of the season’s three conferences will also be given a plaque of recognition, namely, Ross (Philippine Cup), Alex Cabagnot (Commissioner’s Cup), and LA Tenorio (Governors Cup).
Completing the list of awardees are Terrence Romeo (Mighty Sports Scoring Champion), Tenorio (Order of Merit), Roger Pogoy, Jalalon, Matthew Wright, Kevin Ferrer, and Reden Celda (All-Rookie team, and coach Tim Cone, Jayson Castro, Ranidel de Ocampo, Marc Pingris, Beau Belga, and Tenorio (All-Interview team).
During the formal affair to be hosted by Sev Sarmenta and Rizza Diaz, the official PBAPC Facebook page will also be launched.