MANILA, Philippines -- June Mar Fajardo will be recognized with a special individual honor once again when the SMC-PSA (Philippine Sportswriters Association) Annual Awards Night is held on February 26 at the Manila Hotel.
Fajardo, San Miguel Beer's pillar of strength, is once again the recipient of the Mighty Sports Mr. Basketball award -- the fifth year in a row that the 6-foot-11 slotman will be feted with the honor by the country's oldest media organization.
The 29-year-old Fajardo won a fifth straight PBA Most Valuable Player trophy last year, following another dominant season that saw him steer the Beermen to a record-tying fourth straight Philippine Cup title. He also won back-to-back Best Player of the Conference plums.
The Cebuano big man will be joined by volleyball stars Jaja Santiago and Marck Espejo, and football stalwart Neil Etheridge as the special individual awardees during the event.
Santiago will be accorded the title of Ms. Volleyball for the first time, while Espejo is Mr. Volleyball for the second year in a row.
Etheridge, for his part, is the 2018 Mr. Football.
The towering Santiago was the MVP of the UAAP Season 80 women's volleyball tournament, which saw her lead the National University (NU) Lady Bulldogs to a Final 4 spot. She also saw action in the national team and is currently playing in the Japan V. Premier League for Ageo Medics.
Espejo concluded his collegiate career by winning a fifth consecutive MVP trophy in the men's tournament, and guided the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles to a runner-up finish behind NU. He is also playing in Japan, for Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler.
Meanwhile, Etheridge made history last year by becoming the first Filipino and Southeast Asian footballer to play in the English Premier League, as the goalkeeper of Cardiff City.
The affair will be highlighted by the presentation of the PSA Athlete of the Year award.
That honor will be bestowed on the Filipinas who won gold medals for the country in the 2018 Asian Games: weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, skateboarder Margielyn Didal, and golfers Yuka Saso, Bianca Pagdanganan, and Lois Kaye Go.
Olympian and bemedalled athlete Bea Lucero-Lhuillier will be the special guest speaker of the yearly awards night.
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