The top performers in Philippine sports in the year about to end will be honored when the Philippine Sportswriters Association holds its traditional Awards Night on 29 January at the Diamond Hotel.
Asian Games gold medal winners EJ Obiena, Meggie Ochoa, Annie Ramirez and Gilas Pilipinas lead the long list of achievers to be recognized by the country’s oldest media organization headed by its president Nelson Beltran, sports editor of the Philippine Star.
All four, together with the Filipinas football team, are vying for the prestigious Athlete of the Year award.
Obiena’s golden record in pole vault, the two-pronged triumph of Ochoa and Ramirez in jiu-jitsu, and Gilas’ epic march to reclaim basketball supremacy in Asia, spearheaded the country’s four gold, two silver, and 12 bronze medals to tow the country to a 17th-place overall finish in the 19th edition of the Asiad in Hangzhou. It was the Philippines’ highest placing yet in the quadrennial showcase since finishing 14th in Hiroshima 29 years ago.
The Filipinas on the other hand, made history following their debut in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in New Zealand, in a campaign which became even more memorable following the team’s stunning 1-0 victory over the host country through the breakthrough goal of Sarina Bolden.
In a year like no other in Philippine sports history, the Asiad and Southeast Asian Games — along with their Para Games counterparts — were both held in a single calendar year following the adjustments in the hosting of the four major meets owing to the pandemic, guaranteeing a star-studded Awards Night two months from now.
The country’s top two sports officials in Philippine Sports Commission chairman Richard Bachmann and Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham Tolentino are expected to grace the formal affair and lead the local sports community in honoring the best and brightest of the year 2023.
Aside from the Athlete of the Year, other awards will also be handed out by sports editors and writers from different broadsheets, tabloids, and online sites who comprised the PSA membership.
The Lifetime Achievement Award, Executive of the Year, President’s Award, National Sports Association of the Year, Mr. Basketball, Ms. Volleyball, Ms. Football, and the Tony Siddayao Awards are among the yearly honors being given out.
Major Awards and citations to athletes, officials, and entities who excelled in their respective sports are likewise going to be recognized.