Last January 26, we got to witness a rare gathering of the most important figures in Philippine sports as our brothers at SPIN.ph paid tribute to their
The intimate awarding ceremony was held at the Mindanao Ballroom of Sofitel Manila and were attended by last year's biggest names in local sports, such as:
- UAAP Season 77 Men's Basketball champions National University Bulldogs
- The winningest coach and only two-time Grand Slam mentor in PBA history, Purefoods Star Hotshots' Coach Tim Cone
- And Spin.ph's 2014 Sportsman of the Year, Jimmy Alapag
Oh, the event was hosted by courtside charmer and FHM girl Rizza Diaz. We just thought you needed to know that (and see the photo below)
But the real star of the night was Gilas captain Alapag. Being known as one of the more serious guys on and off the court, Captain Jimmy wholeheartedly thanked the people who helped him throughout his career. He also looked back on his memorable moments during the World Cup, even sharing this inspiring anecdote:
"When our bus arrived at our hotel in Sevilla, there were a lot of media waiting just outside the hotel's entrance. The teams who got there first were Senegal and Puerto Rico. They're also the tallest teams in our bracket. So imagine their faces when we stepped out of the bus, especially when the first ones who got off were me, L.A [Tenorio] and Jeff [Chan]. I really wished I could have taken a photo of their faces.
All of them were probably thinking 'Oh, the Philippines will be outscored by 50, pack their bags, and fly back to the Manila. Goodbye.' And then the match with Croatia happened, two minutes left in the ball game and we're up by three. We lost the match in overtime but when we got back at the hotel everyone were dying to get a Gilas shirt, a Gilas cap, just get their hands on anything Gilas.
I'm really proud that we got to introduce what Filipino basketball is all about in front of the world. I can never forget that experience. Puso!"
The Mighty Mouse may have ice running in his veins whenever he's on the court, but he let his emotions get the best of him as he continued his speech, particularly when he started thanking the people dearest to him. We can unabashedly say that we almost cried too...
And then we saw Asi Taulava's flaming red shirt and we started smiling again. We kid, Asi. We kid.
But enough talk, it's time you meet the rest of Spin.ph's honorable 10! And we start with a living legend...
10) Manny Pacquiao
Photo via SPIN.ph
Our Pambansang Kamao definitely regained his elite status after two humbling losses in 2012. The Pac-Man vowed to rise again and he did: shutting down Timothy Bradley and drubbing Chris Algieri in 2014. We all know what the world is wishing for him this 2015. Right, Floyd?