Marc Pingris of San Mig Coffee, Marcio Lassiter of Petron Blaze and Jervy Cruz of Rain or Shine, workhorses all, are up for special awards tomorrow night when the PBA Press Corps’ “A Banquet of Heroes” presented by Meralco is held at posh Wack Wack Golf Club in Mandaluyong.
Pingris will finally claim a place in PBA history as one of its finest defenders ever when he is awarded the Defensive Player of the Year trophy, even as Lassiter was unanimously chosen as the winner of the Bogs Adornado Trophy for the PBAPC’s Comeback Player of the Year.
Cruz, the former UAAP MVP with Santo Tomas, edged out Reynel Hugnatan for the Mr. Quality Minutes award after averaging close to nine points in less than 18 minutes of action in 52 games for the Elasto Painters.
The formal affair starts at 7 p.m. at the Banquet B Hall of the exclusive club where the Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year trophies, named after the legendary Baby Dalupan and the late Danny Floro, respectively, will also be handed out.
Luigi Trillo of Alaska, Norman Black of Talk ‘N Text and Tim Cone of San Mig are the candidates for the Coach of the Year, while Team PBA is the odds-on choice to win the Executive of the Year award.
Manny V. Pangilinan, the Talk ‘N Text and Meralco owner and president of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas, will talk of Gilas-Pilipinas’ journey in bringing the Philippines back to the World Basketball stage.
Members of the 1973 and 1986 Asian Basketball Confederation teams like Samboy Lim, Tonichi Yturri, Adornado, Yoyong Martirez, Manny Paner, Jimmy Mariano, among others, will be present to toast the current crop of Nationals.