THE  LATE  COMMISH  JUN  B  LEADS  PBA  HALL  OF  FAME  HONOREES  TODAY

MANILA, APRIL 8, 2007
(STAR) The Philippine Basketball Association has prepared a special event to celebrate a special occasion today at the Araneta Coliseum.

After a break on Good Friday, the Talk n Text PBA Philippine Cup resumes with an exciting Easter Sunday double header held as part of the league’s 32nd anniversary celebration at the Big Dome.

Eleven personalities who had made significant contribution to the growth of the league, one way or the other, take center stage during the anniversary rites set in between the two matches.

League founding president Domingo Itchon leads nine others forming the second batch of honorees to be inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame while the late commissioner Jun Bernardino will be given a special tribute.

PBA fans will be treated with exciting matches pitting Purefoods and Welcoat at 3:30 p.m. then defending champion Red Bull fights Barangay Ginebra at 6:30 p.m.

"We’re very proud to honor these basketball greats and highly esteemed gentlemen, including the late commissioner Emilio "Jun" Bernardino, who all played major roles in what has the PBA become today – still the leading sports entertainment in the country," said PBA commissioner Noli Eala.

Bernardino, the longest serving commissioner, will be honored with the Perpetual Cup named after him – Jun Bernardino Trophy – in recognition of his legacies in the league. He died of cardiac arrest last March 24 at 59.

The Perpetual Cup, a shining gold-laced trophy worth more than half a million, was crafted by world-renowned artist Ramon Orlina, and is given to the team that wins the Philippine Cup three times in a row.

To be inducted into the Hall of Fame along with Itchon are league pioneers Manuel Paner, Alberto Guidaben and Danny Florencio, former basketball godfather Danding Cojuangco, coaches Dante Silverio and Ron Jacobs, import turned mentor Norman Black and media personalities Pinggoy Pengson and Tony Siddayao.

The league instituted the PBA Hall of Fame two years ago with William "Bogs" Adornado, Philip Cezar, Atoy Co, Francis Arnaiz, Ramon Fernandez, Robert Jaworski, Virgilio "Baby" Dalupan, founding commissioner Leo Prieto, Rudy Salud, the lovable former Crispa team manager Danny Floro, Emerson Coseteng and broadcaster Joe Cantada composing the first batch of honorees.

Red Bull stakes the solo lead as its clashes with Ginebra in the main game.

The Bulls pace the field nearing the halfway mark of the double-round eliminations with a 6-1 win-loss card. The Kings are tied with the Alaska Milk Aces and the Air21 Express at second place on their identical 5-2 records.

The two teams meet for the first time after the Kings beat the Bulls in their best-of-seven semifinal showdown in the recent Philippine Cup.

Ginebra may have gone all the way to win the All-Filipino championship but sets out the underdog against Red Bull minus marquee players Mark Caguioa, Jayjay Helterbrand, Rafi Reavis, Rudy Hatfield and Johnny Abarrientos.

Ginebra coach Jong Uichico, however, remains confident they can compete with the best of them.

"The boys have no intention to quit. We’ll still be there fighting," said Uichico.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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