Two former PBA team owners, including a founding member of the league, will be remembered with a posthumous recognition in the SMC-PSA (Philippine Sportswriters Association) Annual Awards Night at the Centennial Hall of the Manila Hotel.
Late billionaires and philanthropists John Gokongwei Jr. and Lucio ‘Bong’ Tan Jr. are on top of the list of 15 dearly departed sports personalities who are going to be honored with a short video and a minute of silence by the country’s oldest media organization during the March 6 gala night.
Gokongwei, 93, owned the CFC Corporation (now Universal Robina Corporation) franchise, which was among the founding members of the PBA when Asia’s first-ever play-for-pay league was established in 1975. The team played under the brands Presto, N-Rich, Great Taste, and Tivoli, winning a total of six championships in 17 years with the league.
Tan, 53, was the passionate, basketball-loving owner of the Tanduay franchise when it made its PBA comeback in 1999.
Incidentally, Tan passed away on Nov. 11, just two days after the death of Gokongwei.
Also to be remembered in the special event presented by the Philippine Sports Commission, MILO, Cignal TV, Philippine Basketball Association, Rain or Shine, and AirAsia are former national team standouts and sports officials Claro Pellosis, Florendo Ritualo Sr., Susan Papa, Angelo Constantino, Rafael Poliquit, and Mark Joseph.
Completing the posthumous list are Nes Pamilar, VicVic Villavicencio, Reggie Santos, Emmanuel Tangkion, Miguel Bonalos, Sheryl Reyes, and Amber Garcia Torres.
Two more awards will be named heading into Friday’s event, namely the MILO Junior Athletes of the Year and the Chooks-To-Go Fan Favorite.
Team Philippines is the 2019 PSA Athlete of the Year for winning the overall title of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.