(MENAFN - Arab News) THE PBA Press Corps an assembly of the men and women covering the beat held its Annual Awards Night on Thursday and feted Tim Cone as its Coach of the Year and business tycoon Ramon S. Ang as Executive of the Year.
Choosing the two was a no-brainer for the group after Cone steered what San Mig Coffee-owner Ang assembled as a team to just the league's fifth Triple Crown sweep.
Several others were also given citations awards that are not handed down by the PBA which the Press Corps thinks should be given out after each season.
The award like the Defensive Player of the Year (Marc Pingris) Mr. Quality Minutes (Mark Barroca) the Comeback Player of the Year (Asi Taulava) the All-Rookie Team (Greg Slaughter Ian Sangalang Raymond Almazan Terrence Romeo and Justin Melton) and the Scoring Champion (Jason Castro) were all recognized by the group in simple rites held at the Richmonde Hotel in Quezon City.
It is also not common for anyone to be rubbing elbows with Ang one of the richest men in the country who is so enamored with basketball that his San Miguel Corp. has three teams in the PBA.
It was indeed a night to remember not only because Cone and the other awardees received their awards with gusto but also because Ang hob-knobbed with the reporters for the entirety of the proceedings.
The humility in Ang is unbelievable.
He arrived in his Lexus LS460L without a body guard and no personal aide preferring to get the food himself from the buffet table and posed for photographs with gate crashers who knew that there was something big happening in the ballroom.
Ang talked in a manner like he knew each one well never forgetting the names of reporters who were introduced to him before. He made sure that he didn't talk like he was in a hurry stopping for anyone who requested a word.
It's no wonder people like Cone and his players enjoy working for the man.
He simply is one of a kind.
Like we had written a couple of weeks ago the tug-of-war for the services of Paul Lee has started with the cager's agent Lawrence Chongson publicly declaring on Friday afternoon that his ward wants out of Rain or Shine.
The statement of Chongson sent to media through text said that Lee wants out of Rain or Shine and that they were declaring so to allow the Elasto Painters the chance to adjust their selection in the Rookie Draft that happens on Sunday.
There's only one reason why this is happening and that is that Lee's camp wants more money.
But the sad fact of the matter is that Rain or Shine had already offered Lee and his agent te maximum allowable amount for a three-year extension which is why team officials led by coach Yeng Guiao are baffled as to why Chongson is advising his ward to opt out of the team.
'What the difference of the maximum amount we are offering him and the maximum amount any other team can offer' Guiao told Arab News Friday afternoon over the phone. 'That is what is bothering us.'
Guiao has chosen to remain diplomatic on this one saying that they won't budge until they hear it straight from Paul Lee himself.
Lee is with the Gilas-Pilipinas team that will see action in the World Cup in Spain and won't be back until Sept. 10 at the earliest.
'We just want to hear it straight from Paul. Because we have been under the impression that we are family here and he doesn't need an agent to tell us that' Guiao said. 'If we hear it straight from him then we will let him go.
'But let me remind everyone that we have the upperhand here' Guiao continued. 'If he really wants out then we must find a suitable trade for us to let him go. We will be asking for a player of the same caliber and nothing less.'
Guiao said that it will be franchise player for a franchise player in the case of Lee.
'Should we not come to an agreement with the team that reportedly wants him we will have no choice but to sit him out' Guiao continued. 'Remember we have the rights to him and no matter how long he holds out we have the rights to him once he returns.'
Rain or Shine had publicly declared that Lee was to receive the maximum allowable amount close to a month ago with no less that co-team owner Raymond Yu giving out interviews to the media.
So which guy in his right mind would not sign a P420000 a month contract for the next three years if that amount is the absolute biggest allowed by the league
I'm just asking. Because had I been a player given that I wouldn't be haggling for anything more and wouldn't be asking for anything more because I know that my mother team is ready to take care of me.
Lee has won the Rookie of the Year award had a Mythical Team citation and won a championship with the Elasto Painters already. But are those achievements enough to make him hold out
Reporters have been talking to Lee in his first three seasons in the PBA and were one in saying that it wasn't in his personality to be asking for the moon.
Many have been shocked of Chongson's statement. Many even refused to believe it.
Guiao is right it would be best to wait for Paul himself and hear the words come out of his mouth.
Until then it's status quo for the Painters.