Rising tennis star Alex Eala leads a compact list of young, promising athletes who will have their share of center stage in the coming SMC-PSA (Philippine Sportswriters Association) Annual Awards Night.
Along with nine others, the 14-year-old Eala will receive the 2019 Tony Siddayao awards during the March 6 gala night at the Centennial Hall of the Manila Hotel.
The award is named after the late former Manila Standard sports editor Antonio ‘Tony’ Siddayao, long considered as the Dean of Philippine sportswriting. It is given to young, emerging athletes 17-year-old and below, who excelled in their respective fields.
Eala embodies this exactly, especially in a year that saw her finished in the top 10 of the world junior rankings by the end of 2019.
Following her maiden grand slam title after winning the Australian Open girls doubles tournament along with partner Priska Madelyn Nugroho, the Filipina wonder is now ranked no. 4 in the world.
Bemedalled age-group swimmers Micaela Jasmine Mojdeh and Marc Bryant Dula share the honor with Eala in the special yearly event by the country’s oldest media organization headed by Tito S. Talao, sports editor of the Manila Bulletin, and presented by the Philippine Sports Commission, MILO, Cignal TV, Philippine Basketball Association, AirAsia, and Rain or Shine.
Completing the Siddayao awardees are the bowling pair of Dale Lazo and Jordan Dinham, karatedo’s Juan Miguel Sebastian, golfer Celine Abalos, Woman FIDE master Antonella Racasa, powerlifter Jessa Mae Tabuan, and Eala’s older brother Michael Eala.
Prominent recipients of the award for young athletes were Grandmaster Wesley So, Eumie Kiefer Ravena, Felix Marcial, Jeron Teng, Markie Alcala, Pauline Del Rosario, Aby Arevalo, Maurice Sacho Ilustre, among others.
On top of the close than 200 awardees to be honored by the country’s sportswriting fraternity is 30th Southeast Asian Games overall champion Team Philippines, which is the consensus choice as the 2019 Athlete of the Year.