EJ Obiena, Meggie Ochoa, Annie Ramirez, Filipinas, Gilas head awardees

The Filipinas are among the top contenders for the Philippine Sportswriters Association Awards. Neil Bravo

Top performers in Philippine sports in the year about to end will be honored by the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) as it holds its traditional Awards Night on Jan. 29 at the Diamond Hotel.

Asian Games gold medalists EJ Obiena, Meggie Ochoa, Annie Ramirez, and Gilas Pilipinas lead the long list of achievers to be recognized by the country’s oldest media organization headed by its president Nelson Beltran, sports editor of the Philippine Star.

All four, together with the Filipinas football team, are vying for the prestigious Athlete of the Year award.

Obiena’s golden record in pole vault, the two-pronged triumph of Ochoa and Ramirez in jiu-jitsu, and Gilas’ epic march to reclaim basketball supremacy in Asia, spearheaded the country’s four golds, two silvers, and 12 bronzes finish (17th overall) in the 19th edition of the Asiad in Hangzhou, China, in the Philippines’ highest placing yet in the quadrennial showcase since finishing 14th in Hiroshima, Japan 29 years ago.

The Filipinas, meanwhile, made history following their debut in the Fifa Women’s World Cup in New Zealand, in a campaign which became even more memorable following the team’s stunning 1-0 victory over the host country through the breakthrough goal of Sarina Bolden.

In a year like no other in Philippine sports history, the Asiad and Southeast Asian Games — along with their Para Games counterparts — were held in a single calendar year following the adjustments in the hosting of the four major meets owing to the pandemic, guaranteeing a star-studded Awards Night two months from now.

The country’s top two sports officials in Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman Richard Bachmann and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) President Abraham Tolentino are expected to grace the affair and lead the local sports community in honoring the best and brightest of the year 2023.

The Lifetime Achievement Award, Executive of the Year, President’s Award, National Sports Association (NSA) of the Year, Mr. Basketball, Ms. Volleyball, Ms. Football, and the Tony Siddayao Awards are among the awards to be given out by the PSA composed of sports editors and writers from different broadsheets, tabloids, and online sites.

Major Awards and citations to athletes, officials, and entities who excelled in their respective sports are also going to be handed out.

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