By Adrian Stewart Co
The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) is set to honor the top performers of the 45th Season’s lone conference–2020 PBA Philippine Cup—in a virtual Special Awards Night on Sunday.
Unlike in the previous years, this year’s edition of the awarding rites will be a simple, hour-long program that is in stark contrast from the colorful and glamorous atmosphere of the annual Leo Awards.
“Kailangan nating bigyan ng parangal at pasalamatan lahat ng mga players, may award man o wala, para makita naman nila ‘yung sakripisyo at hirap na ginawa nila noong nakaraang Philippine Cup bubble,” said PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial.
In practicing health and safety protocols due to coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19, pandemic, only a few members of the PBA Board will be present in the studio led by Marcial and Chairman Ricky Vargas.
Negrenses Justin Chua of Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters, Reynel Hugnatan of Meralco Bolts and Raul Soyud of NLEX Road Warriors are among the candidates for the Most Improved Player award.
Also in contention for the individual citation is Chua’s teammate Jason Perkins, Prince Caperal of champions Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings and Javee Mocon of Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
Competing for the Best Player of the Conference citation is Kings’ Stanley Pringle, TNT Tropang Giga’s Bobby Ray Parks Jr. and Roger Pogoy, Fuel Masters’ Matthew Wright and Calvin Abueva, and TerraFirma Dyip’s Jaymar Perez.
Meanwhile, contesting the Outstanding Rookie award are Aaron Black of Meralco Bolts, Kings’ Arvin Tolentino, Barkley Ebona of Alaska Aces, Magnolia Hotshots’ Aristotle Dionisio, and Roosevelt Adams of the Dyip.
Vying for the Samboy Lim Sportsmanship award are Abueva, Perez, Earl Scottie Thompson of the Kings, Gabe Norwood of the Painters, and Kevin Alas of the Road Warriors.
Also to be handed out in the ceremony, which will be broadcasted live from the TV 5 studio in Mandaluyong City starting at six in the evening, is the Outstanding/Elite Five award./ASC, WDJ