MANILA, Philippines – The men behind the two champion teams in the previous PBA season will be feted in the PBA Press Corps Awards Night at the Novotel Manila on Tuesday, June 21.
TNT mentor Chot Reyes will be honored as Coach of the Year, while Barangay Ginebra governor Alfrancis Chua will be recognized as Executive of the Year, after their respective squads won titles last season.
Returning to PBA coaching after a near-decade-long hiatus, Reyes guided the Tropang Giga to their first championship in six years as they dominated the Philippine Cup.
With Reyes at the helm, TNT ended the elimination round with a 10-1 record, dethroned Ginebra in the quarterfinals, survived San Miguel in the semifinals, and made quick work of Magnolia in the finals to claim the All-Filipino crown.
He then led the Tropang Giga to the No. 3 seed in the Governors’ Cup, although they squandered a win-once playoff bonus as they fell to Tim Cone and the Gin Kings – the eventual champions – in the quarterfinals.
Reyes edged Cone for the award named after legendary PBA tactician Baby Dalupan as he clinches a record-extending sixth Coach of the Year plum.
Four-time awardee Cone misses a chance to tie Reyes for most Coach of the Year wins.
But another member of Ginebra will not be denied, with Chua taking home the award named after Danny Floro, the owner of the storied Crispa Redmanizers franchise that won two PBA Grand Slams.
With Chua making the moves, the Gin Kings captured their fourth Governors’ Cup title in six years as they overcame a conference filled with adversity.
Despite being hobbled by injuries to key players Stanley Pringle, Aljon Mariano, and Japeth Aguilar, sixth seed Ginebra overcame a twice-to-beat disadvantage against TNT in the quarterfinals, gave NLEX the boot in the semifinals, and reasserted its mastery over Meralco in the championship round.
It was the fourth time the Gin Kings defeated the Bolts for the title in the season-ending conference.
Also the San Miguel Corporation (SMC) sports director, Chua joins SMC president Ramon S. Ang, First Pacific Company Limited chief executive officer Manny V. Pangilinan, current PBA chairman Ricky Vargas, Alaska team owner Wilfred Uytengsu, late commissioner Jun Bernardino, and former RFM franchise team manager Elmer Yanga as two-time recipients of the award he first won in 2018.
Others in the honor roll include NorthPort’s Arwind Santos (Defensive Player of the Year) San Miguel’s June Mar Fajardo (Comeback Player of the Year), Meralco’s Allein Maliksi (Mr. Quality Minutes), and TNT’s Mikey Williams (Scoring Champion).
Williams also banners the All-Rookie Team composed of Terrafirma’s Joshua Munzon, NorthPort’s Jamie Malonzo, NLEX’s Calvin Oftana, and Rain or Shine’s Santi Santillan, and the Order of Merit awardees comprised by Magnolia’s Ian Sangalang, NorthPort’s Robert Bolick, and Phoenix’s Matthew Wright.
The Beermen and the Batang Pier will be recognized for the Game of the Season, which saw Alex Cabagnot drain game-winner to lift San Miguel to an 88-87 escape win over NorthPort in Game 1 of their Philippine Cup quarterfinals clash. – Rappler.com