MANILA, Philippines – For his relentless efforts to keep the Philippines on the basketball map, business tycoon and sports patron Manny V. Pangilinan will receive the President's Award during the SMC-PSA Awards night on February 27.
Pangilinan, the chairman emeritus of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), is the man behind the country's successful bid to host the 2023 FIBA World Cup, a prestigious event that gathers the world's top 32 basketball-playing nations.
The SBP partnered with Japan and Indonesia to win hosting rights over Argentina and Uruguay. Sixteen nations will see action in the Philippines, and eight each in Japan and Indonesia.
It will be the first time that the Philippines will host the FIBA World Cup since 1978.
"This hosting is for the country. It is a great honor. The Filipinos deserve it," Pangilinan said.
"If there's anything, any legacy I'd like to leave to the sport of basketball, it's that the Philippines, after so many years, will be at the center of the world in the sport of basketball," added the 71-year-old patron known as "MVP."
This year, the Philippines, through the SBP, will also host the FIBA 3x3 World Cup.
Dodo Catacutan, the president of the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA), said no one deserves the award more than Pangilinan, who has poured in millions of pesos into the ambitious Gilas Pilipinas program.
Along with the country's finest athletes in 2017, Pangilinan will be honored and fete in a glittery affair at the Maynila Hall of Manila Hotel.
Aside from the President’s Award, the PSA-Tapa King Athlete of the Year will also be handed out to deserving recipients Jerwin Ancajas, Carlo Biado, and Krizziah Lyn Tabora during the affair which has the Philippine Sports Commission for major sponsor and supported by the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), Mighty Sports, Rain or Shine, and GlobalPort.
In 2016, Gilas 3.0 also received the President's Award from the country's oldest media organization for its surprising silver medal finish in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship, falling one victory short of the elusive slot to the Summer Olympics.
Past awardees include UAAP basketball champions Ateneo Blue Eagles and National University Bulldogs, cue artists and billiards champions Rubilen Amit, Dennis Orcollo and Lee Van Corteza and slalom racing champion Milo Rivera.
The Executive of the Year award, NSA (National Sports Association) of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Awards, major awards, citations, among others, will likewise be given by the country’s oldest media organization during the formal rite.
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