Chito Victolero to be honored as PBA Coach of the Year
MANILA, Philippines – The PBA Press Corps will hail a new Coach of the Year during the 25th anniversary presentation of its Annual Awards Night on Monday, January 21, at the Novotel Manila Araneta Center in Cubao.
Chito Victolero of Magnolia Pambansang Manok is the recipient of the coveted Virgilio "Baby" Dalupan trophy from the group of sportswriters who regularly cover the PBA beat following the work he had done with the Hotshots last year that culminated with a championship in the season-ending Governors Cup.
The 43-year-old Victolero of Sta. Maria, Bulacan, beat Barangay Ginebra's Tim Cone and San Miguel's Leo Austria, winner of the award the past 3 seasons, in a tight, 3-way fight for the individual honor that serves as the highlight of the special two-hour event presented by Cignal TV.
All 3 coaches won a championship each last year, but Victolero's Magnolia roster obviously is the least superior of the 3 ballclubs under the umbrella of the San Miguel Corporation.
Only in his second year at the helm of the Hotshots, the title was the first ever for Victolero in his PBA coaching career and broke the Hotshots' 4-year championship drought following their grand slam season in 2014.
On the way to the top, the No. 4 seed Hotshots toppled the top seeded and two-time defending champion Kings in the semifinals and then overcame Best Import Mike Harris and the 3rd seeded Aces in the finals.
During the Philippine Cup, Victolero finally made past the semifinals after 3 straight Final Four trips the previous season but battled and lost to the powerhouse Beermen in the finals as the Hotshots made do with a depleted roster.
Aside from Austria, Cone was also a Coach of the Year awardee in the past along with Chot Reyes, the only five-time winner, Yeng Guiao, Jong Uichico, Ryan Gregorio, Derrick Pumaren, Perry Ronquillo, Boyet Fernandez, Siot Tanquingcen, Luigi Trillo, and the late Ron Jacobs.
Victolero shares the limelight with other awardees in the affair that includes Danny Floro Executive of the Year winner Alfrancis Chua, the entire PBA Board as choice for the President's Award and Alaska team owner Wilfred S. Uytengsu as the first ever recipient of the PBAPC's Lifetime Achievement Award in celebration of its silver anniversary. – Rappler.com