MANILA, January 14, 2006
(STAR) The top achievers of local sports in 2005 bask in limelight tonight as the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) honors them in simple but fitting rites at the grand ballroom of the Manila Pavilion beginning at 7 p.m.

No less than President Arroyo will be on hand to cheer and give tribute to all personalities and entities, which made the year just passed a truly remarkable one in Philippine sports.

The Chief Executive, along with Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose "Peping" Cojuangco and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William "Butch" Ramirez, will personally hand out the PSA Athlete of the Year award to Team Philippines following its momentous triumph in the last 23rd Southeast Asian Games where it won the overall crown for the very first time.

Multiple SEA Games gold medal winner Sheila Mae Perez heads 22 others who will be the recipients of the major awards from the country’s oldest media organization composed of sportswriters from the daily broadsheets and tabloids.

All gold medal winners in the SEA Games are also to be bestowed a special citation during the two-hour rites to be telecast on a slightly delayed basis by NBN-4, with Red Bull as sponsor and San Miguel Corp., PSC and Manila Mayor Lito Atienza as supporters.

PSA president Jimmy Cantor of Malaya said all gold medal winners are requested to come in their parade uniforms (track suit) and bring their medals with them.

Awardees, sports officials and other guests are also being requested to come earlier as possible since proper protocol will be observed once the program begins.

Philippine Basketball League (PBL) star Alex Compton and lovely sports broadcaster Patricia Bermudez-Hizon are hosting the affair, with the University of the East cheering dance group providing the entertainment number.

A total of 144 honorees made it to the year’s honor roll list composed of 23 major awardees, 99 special citations, 17 citations, two recipients of the Tony Siddayao Award, two special awards and one Most Outstanding National Sports Association (NSA).

Cantor said all those who failed to receive their invitations can personally get it at the reception area of the Pavilion just before the proceedings.

Frank Elizalde, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) representative to the Philippines, San Miguel Corp. chair Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco and Bacolod Congressman Monico Puentevella are among the top sportsmen expected to grace the affair.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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