The best and the brightest stars were feted by the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) in its Special Awards Night on Sunday.
Stanley Pringle of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel was named as the Best Player of the Conference for the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup which was held for almost three months in a bubble concept in Clark, Pampanga.
The deadly gunner of champions Barangay Ginebra San Miguel topped other righteous nominees in CJ Perez of Terrafirma, Calvin Abueva and Matthew Wright of Phoenix and Roger Pogoy and Ray Parks of runner-up Talk ‘N Text.
Meanwhile, Aaron Black of the Meralco Bolts topped all rookie players to bag the Outstanding Rookie award and made history as the lowest draft pick to ever win the plum.
The son of noted mentor Norman Black bested other promising young talents in Roosevelt Adams of Terrafirma, Barkley Ebona of Alaska, Aris Dionisio of Magnolia and Arvin Tolentino of Ginebra.
Pringle also led the 45th PBA Elite Five and was joined by his teammate Japeth Aguilar, JP Erram of Talk ‘N Text and Phoenix’s Wright and Abueva.
Ginebra also seemed to have swept the unusual awards night after its 6-foot-7 big man Prince Caperal was hailed as the Most Improved Player while Scottie Thompson, who was remarkable in the previous conference, landed with the Sportsmanship Award.
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial praised all the players who he said have sacrificed a lot prior and while inside the bubble camp.
“This special awards night, we are offering to all the players and their sacrifices and hard work inside the bubble,” said the league chief during the one-hour virtual ceremonies.
“They were waking up at 4 or 5 in the morning just to practice at 6 and if they were not playing games, they were grinding it out in the gym.”