Poignant moments for PH best

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The night featured many touching and solemn scenes as the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) celebrated the best Filipino athletes of 2015.

“I’m shaking,” said world boxing champion Nonito Donaire Jr., surprisingly overwhelmed, as he took the stage to receive the night’s highest honor at the PSA Awards on Saturday, Feb. 13, night at One Esplanade in Pasay City.

“I don’t do this when I’m inside the ring, but in front of you guys, I’m shaking. That means it’s a big deal and I’m very thankful.”

Donaire received his fourth PSA Athlete of the Year award, sharing the honor with fellow world boxing champion Donnie Nietes and crack golfer Miguel Tabuena.

“I’ve learned through my defeats to be grateful for every moment I’m given by God [so I can] inspire those around me,” said Donaire.

Tabuena, who, just like Nietes, was grateful to all who helped shape his career, also felt honored to be in the company of world-class athletes.

“To share this stage with two world boxing icons that we all watch whenever they fight is an amazing feeling,” said Tabuena.

The star-studded gala night had poignant moments when baseball and softball great Filomeno “Boy” Codiñera received a standing ovation after accepting a Lifetime Achievement award, and when the families of the late legendary basketball coach Ron Jacobs and Filipino cage legend Caloy “The Big Difference” Loyzaga also looked moved by the touching tributes.

Alaska team owner Wilfred Uytengsu Jr., recipient of the Executive of the Year Award, delivered a heartfelt speech as he reflected on how sports had defined him starting from a young national swimmer to a very firm supporter of sports such as basketball, triathlon and football.

“Along the way, I learned a lot about the importance of great work ethics, commitment, dedication, and sacrifice,” said Uytengsu.

Just like Uytengsu, Donaire noted how sports is all about inspiration.

“To all the athletes, let us all be inspired and inspire each other - not to try, but to be the best… for the whole world to see that we, as [Filipinos], are a force to be reckoned with,” said the WBO super bantamweight champion.

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