THE top achievers of 2018 gather on one special night to share the spotlight in the San Miguel Corp.-Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Annual Awards at the Centennial Hall of the historic Manila Hotel on Tuesday.
Olympian weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, skateboarder Margielyn Didal and the golf trio of Yuka Saso, Bianca Pagdanganan and Lois Kaye Go are the stars of the two-hour affair presented by Milo, Cignal TV and the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) as they share the coveted Athlete of the Year honor traditionally handed out by the country’s oldest media organization.
All five ladies accounted for the four gold medals the country won in the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang in Indonesia last year.
This marks the second time the 28-year-old Diaz, a silver medalist in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, will be the recipient of the highest honor being given by the Philippine sportswriting fraternity, while Didal, Saso, Pagdanganan and Go are first-time winners.
Top sports officials, led by PSC Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Ricky Vargas, join the PSA, under President Eduardo “Dodo” Catacutan of SPIN.ph., in paying tribute to the personalities and entities who did the country proud in 2018.
Olympian and multititled gymnast and taekwondo jin Bea Lucero-Lhuillier serves as the special guest of honor and speaker during the gala night also backed by Philippine Basketball Association, Mighty Sports, Rain or Shine, Chooks To Go, NorthPort, Tapa King and SM Prime Holdings.
Bowling great Olivia “Bong” Coo and cycling legend Paquito Rivas are the year’s recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Golf Association of the Philippines (NGAP) is the choice as the National Sports Association of the Year, Enrique Razon Jr. of International Container Terminal Services Inc. gets the Executive of the Year Award, while undefeated reigning University Athletic Assocaition of the Philippines women’s basketball champion National University Lady Bulldogs will get the prestigious President’s Award.
Special Awards will also be given out, such as the Mighty Sports Mr. Basketball (June Mar Fajardo), Mr. and Ms. Volleyball (Marck Espejo and Jaja Santiago), and Mr. Football (Neil Etheridge), as well as Mr. Fan Favorite “Manok Ng Bayan” Award (Kai Sotto) and a Special Recognition on Sports Journalism (Lito Tacujan).
Alexandra Eala and Daniel Quizon are the Milo Male and Female Athletes of the Year, while the Tony Siddayao Awardees include Jessel Lumapas, Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh, Marc Bryan Dula and Czerrine Ramos.
To be given out, too, are major awards and citations in various sports, while a prayer will be offered to those who passed away in 2018.