MANILA, Philippines -- Rain or Shine's Gabe Norwood joined an elite list when he received the PBA's Sportsmanship Award for the third season in a row earlier this month.
The swingman was named the winner of the Samboy Lim trophy during the PBA Leo Awards last March 8, which officially closed the league's 44th season. Norwood became only the third player in the history of the league to become a three-time winner of the Sportsmanship Award, joining Freddie Abuda and Rey Evangelista.
"It's humbling, you know, to be associated with Samboy, knowing his work," said Norwood, who is the only player to win the honor for three straight seasons.
What makes his achievement so special for Norwood is that the award is named for Lim, the Philippine basketball legend whose ongoing battle for his health has inspired Filipinos.
"I got to meet him (Lim) when I first got in the league, and understanding his situation now, it's truly a blessing," said Norwood. "It's something I take seriously."
Norwood is hopeful that his latest feat can serve as an inspiration to other basketball players, as he shows them how to conduct themselves both on the court and off it.
"Just to respect the game, respect your opponents, and compete at a high level," he said. "At the end of the day, just leave it all out there on the court."
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