April 25, 2024

EJ Obiena shines brightest in star-studded PSA Awards Night

EJ Obiena shines brightest in star-studded PSA Awards Night

In a star-studded night on Monday, EJ Obiena shone the brightest.

Obiena was hailed Athlete of the Year by the San Miguel Corporation-Philippine Sportswriters Association Annual Awards Night, after a stellar 2023 that saw him set an Asian record by clearing six meters and won silver in the World Athletics Championships.

In his stead, the world no. 2 pole vaulter’s parents, Emerson and Jeannette, received the prestigious award at the Diamond Hotel Grand Ballroom.

“I’m very thankful to be here virtually. It’s an honor to receive such award,” said Obiena in a surprise appearance via Zoom.

But he was only one of 140 athletes feted in what became the biggest Awards Night in the oldest media organization’s history.

Gilas Pilipinas and Filipinas shared the spotlight after receiving the President’s Award and the “Golden Lady Booters’ Special Award, respectively.

First Pacific Company Chairman and CEO Manny V. Pangilinan also joined the night of glam as he was bestowed the Executive of the Year award with SMC president and CEO Ramon Ang.

The two, leaders of the rival factions in the PBA, joined hands as the country hosted the FIBA World Cup before Gilas ended a 61-year drought and seized the Asian Games gold medal.

[RELATED STORY: PBA tips hat to Manny V. Pangilinan, Ramon Ang for Gilas' success in Asian Games]

Speaking of basketball, legends Allan Caidic, the late great Samboy Lim, and coaches Dante Silverio, Joe Lipa, and Arturo Valenzona were presented the Lifetime Achievement Award.

“This is a symbol of [my] hard work and perseverance. Nabigyang halaga contribition mo sa Philippine sports,” said Caidic.

The Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas and the Jiu-jitsu Federation emerged as co-winners of the National Sports Association of the Year.

Meanwhile, June Mar Fajardo was also recognized as Mr. Basketball. Creamline Cool Smashers’ Tots Carlos, Filipinas star Sarina Bolden, and Alex Eala were hailed Ms. Volleyball, Ms. Football, and Ms. Tennis, respectively.

Asian Games gold medalists Meggie Ochoa and Annie Ramirez, and Carlos Yulo led the Major Awards recipients on a night SEA Games gold medalists like Agatha Wong, Nesthy Petecio, and Eric Cray also received recognition.

Gold medalists in the Asian Para Games and ASEAN Para Games were given their much-deserved recognition.

In an In Memoriam video, the oldest media organization also honored the likes of former ABAP president Ed Picson, PBA players Terry Saldana, Samboy Lim, and Boybits Victoria.