Nonito Donaire Jr

Josie Gabuco

MANILA, APRIL 1, 2013 (MANILA BULLETIN) The men and women of Philippine sports share a rare moment together in a formal celebration tonight honoring the best and brightest of the year 2012.

Fifty-nine personalities will be given tribute in the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA)-MILO Annual Awards Night at the grand ballroom of the Manila Hotel in recognition of their achievements that served as source of pride and joy to this country of 100 million Filipinos.

On top of the honor roll list are two distinguished world title holders in boxers Nonito Donaire Jr. and Josie Gabuco, along with a pair of champion teams in Ateneo Blue Eagles and Manila women's sotfbelles, all of whom are co-recipients of the coveted Athlete of the Year award handed out by the country's oldest media organization under president Rey Bancod of Tempo.

Sportsman-businessman Mikee Romero serves as guest of honor and speaker, and shares center stage with the country's top sports officials headed by Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Jose "Peping" Cojuangco and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Ritchie Garcia, as they congratulate and extend their heartfelt gratitude to all the awardees in behalf of the entire Filipino people.

Tonight's glittery affair starting at 7:30 p.m., is hosted by basketball great Benjie Paras and Ai Dela Cruz, with live performances to be provided by the lovely Isabelle De Leon. Longtime PSA partner DZSR Sports Radio 918 will broadcast live the event presented by the PSC, San Miguel Corp., Smart, Philippine Basketball Association, Globalport 900, Rain or Shine, LBC, Meralco, Senator Chiz Escudero, SM Prime Holdings, and ICTSI and Philippine Golf Tour.

Also to be handed out during the two-hour, special ceremony are major awards in various sports, President's Award (Smart Gilas Pilipinas), Executive of the Year (Chito Salud), NSAs of the Year (SBP and NGAP), Mr. Football (Chieffy Caligdong and Eduard Sacapano), Outstanding High School Players (Axel Toni Ngui and Kirsten Chloe Daos), Tony Siddayao Award, and special citations.

A minute of silence will also be offered to prominent athletes and friends of sports who passed away last year.

Donaire will be receiving his third Athlete of the Year award from the PSA, having been the recipient of the same plum in 2007 and 2011, respectively, which he shared with swimmer Miguel Molina and pool great Dennis Orcollo.

Gabuco, Ateneo Blue Eagles, and the Manila women's softball team are first-time winners of the prestigious trophy.

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Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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