PSA to honor dearly departed sports personalities

ABS-CBN Sports on Feb 11, 2017 08:12 PM
PSA to honor dearly departed sports personalities
The Philippine Sportswriters Association will remember the sports greats and friends that passed away in the year that was.

Departed friends of Philippine sports, including a handful of legendary ones, will be remembered and given tribute by the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) during its Annual Awards Night presented by San Miguel Corp. and MILO set Monday at the LE PAVILLON in Pasay City.

A pall of gloom descended local sports in the year just passed that saw basketball greats Carlos ‘Caloy’ Loyzaga, coaching icon Virgilio ‘Baby’ Dalupan, and legendary baseball and softball player Filomeno ‘Boy’ Codinera leave us behind one after the other.

For their immense contribution and as inspiration for this country of 100 million Filipinos, the country’s oldest media organization is honoring them with a posthumous award on Feb. 13 in its traditional gala night also co-presented by CIGNAL/HYPHER HD.

Apart from the three celebrated personalities, nine others will also be given the same accolade by the sportswriting fraternity in honor of their memory.

Two-time Olympian Mariano ‘Tom’ Ong , former Philippine Sports Commission chairman Cecil Hechanova, veteran broadcaster and columnist Ronnie Nathanielsz, and Blackwater player Gilbert Bulawan are also going to be honored posthumously in the event which has the Philippine Sports Commission, Smart, Phoenix Petroleum, Foton, ICTSI, Globalport, Mighty Sports, and Rain or Shine as major sponsors.

Completing the posthumous list are former Philippine Youth team member and La Salle stalwart Jonas Mariano, University of the Philippines football team member Rogie Maglinas, sports columnist and boxing manager Herminigildo ‘Hermie’ Rivera, pioneer PBA play-by-play anchor Emy Arcilla, and DZSR Sports Radio broadcaster Benjie Castro.

Rio De Janeiro Olympic silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz is the recipient of the coveted Athlete of the Year award and leads the 92 personalities and entities to be feted in the program also supported by the Philippine Basketball Association, Federal Land, SM Prime Holdings Inc., Meralco, ACCEL, NLEX, MVP Sports Foundation, and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.

Loyzaga, known as ‘The Big Difference,’ died at the age of 85. He was generally considered the greatest Filipino basketball player of all-time, who played in the 1952 and 1956 Olympics, and the leading scorer of the Philippine team that won a historic bronze medal in the 1954 FIBA World Championship in Rio De Janeiro.

Dalupan is the hands-down choice as ‘The Maestro’ of Philippine coaching. He won championships at every level including a record seven straight titles with University of the East in the UAAP (1965-72) and 13 in the PBA, nine of which was with the fabled Crispa Redmanizers including the league’s first ever grand slam in 1976. He passed away at the age of 92.

In all, Dalupan won 52 championships.

A police officer by profession, Codinera is hailed as one of the best baseball and softball players the country ever produced.  He was a member of the Philippine team that finished fourth in the 1968 Men’s Softball World Championship in Oklahoma where he hit seven consecutive doubles, a feat noted by the Guinness Book of World Records, and played in the PH squad in the 1972 Men’s Softball World Championship in Marikina in which he scored a grand slam home run with two outs in the final inning to win it against Mexico.

The father of pro players Jerry, Harmon, and Pat Codinera, also suited in the 1966 World Amateur Baseball Championship in Hawaii where the country won a bronze medal. He was the recipient of the PSA Lifetime Achievement Award last year before he passed away at the age of 77.

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