Chot Reyes capped his return from a coaching sabbatical in the PBA on a historic note.
The flamboyant mentor was named by the PBA Press Corps as its Coach of the Year for Season 46 and will be handed his sixth Virgilio ‘Baby’ Dalupan trophy in its traditional Awards Night set Tuesday at Novotel Manila Araneta Center.
Reyes, 58, edged out Ginebra counterpart Tim Cone for the coveted award following his successful comeback to coaching in Asia’s first-ever play-for-pay league after an almost decade of absence to steer the TNT Tropang Giga to the Philippine Cup championship.
The sixth Coach of the Year award by Reyes is the most in the history of the PBAPC, but the first for him since last winning it in 2011.
It likewise marked the third time he won it while calling the shots for the telecommunication franchise, becoming only the second coach to win it three times with the same team after San Miguel Beer’s Leo Austria.
Reyes leads 14 other awardees to be feted by the men and women regularly covering the PBA beat during the two-hour affair hosted by veteran sportscaster Sev Sarmenta and former courtside reporter and now news anchor Rizza Diaz.
Re-elected Bulakan, Bulacan mayor and former MVP Vergel Meneses will be the guest of honor in the program that starts at 7 p.m.
Barangay Ginebra governor Alfrancis Chua will also share the limelight as recipient of the Danny Floro Executive of the Year, so is NorthPort forward Arwind Santos as Defensive Player of the Year, June Mar Fajardo for the Bogs Adornado Comeback Player of the Year, and Meralco’s Allein Maliksi for Mr. Quality Minutes.
Other awardees include TNT’s Mikey Williams (Scoring Champion), the group of Terrafirma’s Joshua Munzon, NorthPort’s Jamie Malonzo, Calvin Oftana of NLEX, Williams, and Rain or Shine’s Leonard Santillan (All-Rookie Team), the quartet of Williams, Magnolia’s Ian Sangalang, Robert Bolick of NorthPort, and Matthew Wright of Phoenix, (Order of Merit) along with officials of San Miguel and NorthPort (Game of the Season).
PBA chairman Ricky Vargas and the league Board, together with commissioner Willie Marcial have been invited in the first face-to-face awards night by the PBAPC since 2019.