Gabe Norwood made history after earning the Samboy Lim Sportsmanship Award in the 44th Leo Awards, Sunday.
According to PBA stats chief Fidel Mangonon III, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters lifer has tied Freddie Abuda and Rey Evangelista for the most number of the said plum.
Norwood, though, is the only player to have won the Sportsmanship Award thrice consecutively.
The 35-year-old feels humbled to win the award named after its first-ever recipient in 1993.
“It’s humbling to be associated with Samboy and knowing his work,” he said moments after the awarding ceremonies held before the league’s Season 45 opener at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
“I got to meet him when I first got in the league, and kinda understanding his situation now, it’s truly a blessing,” the 11-year-year veteran added.
“It’s something I take seriously, and yeah, just awesome.”
Also considered for the award were six-time MVP June Mar Fajardo, Troy Rosario, Meralco teammates Baser Amer and Chris Newsome, Mac Belo, and Elasto Painter Rey Nambatac.
Now that he enters another season of his decorated career, Norwood vowed to keep on showing the character that makes him one of the most revered players in the league.
“Just to respect the game, respect your opponents, and go out and compete at a high level. And at the end of the day, you know, just leave it all out there on the court.”
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