Re-elected Bulakan, Bulacan mayor Vergel Meneses will grace the event and reacquaint with his PBA family while coming off fresh from getting a second term as mayor of one of the province’s first-class municipalities.
In the event, the 53-year-old will also personally receive the President’s Award handed out to him by the group regularly covering the PBA beat during its virtual staging of the awards meet held last year.
One of the 25 greatest players in league history who successfully transitioned to public service serves as the special guest of honor in the 2022 PBA Press Corps Awards Night tonight at Novotel Manila Araneta City.
Meneses was awarded the said award in celebration of the 25th anniversary of him winning Most Valuable Player honors and then serving his first term as mayor back in 2019.
The 6-foot-2 Meneses, a product of Jose Rizal University, was a three-time champion, two of which he won back in 1995 during his MVP season while playing for the RFM franchise. He was a three-time Best Player of the Conference awardee, a two-time Mythical First Team member, a four-time All-Star MVP, an 11-time All-Star, a two-time slam-dunk champion, and was the Most Improved Player in 1993.
The no. 1 overall pick in the 1992 draft, the man they called ‘Aerial Voyager’ was voted part of the PBA’s 25 Greatest Players in 2000 when the league celebrated its silver anniversary.
Meneses suited up for Presto, Sta. Lucia, Swift, Pop Cola, Barangay Ginebra, FedEx, Barako Bull, and Talk ‘N Text in a 14-year pro career.
A many-time national team player, he later went into coaching and was in charge of his alma mater for almost a decade.
Meneses will join the celebration honoring the top performers of Season 46, bannered by Chot Reyes and Alfrancis Chua as they are the recipients of the Coach of the Year and Executive of the Year awards, respectively.
Among the awardees are Arwind Santos (Defensive Player of the Year), June Mar Fajardo (Bogs Adornado Comeback Player of the Year), Allein Maliksi (Mr. Quality Minutes), and Mikey Williams (Scoring Champion).
Williams, Jamie Malonzo, Santi Santillan, Calvin Oftana, and Joshua Munzon will be feted as part of the All-Rookie team, while the Order of Merit will be given also to Williams, Robert Bolick, Ian Sangalang, Matthew Wright.
To be feted as the Game of the Season is the Philippine Cup quarterfinal opener between San Miguel and NorthPort held at the Bacolor bubble.
PBA guest team Bay Area
Meanwhile, Bay Area is starting to beef up its lineup in preparation for the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup and the 2022-23 EASL season.
The Dragons have signed 7-foot-5 big man Liu Chuanxing, according to multiple reports.
Liu, 22, previously played for NBL’s Brisbane, serving as the Bullets’ Development and Special Restricted player.
Last season, he averaged 2.91 points and 1.61 rebounds in 23 games played.
Liu also played for CBA’s Qingdao from 2018-21.
“Big Liu” was also part of China’s team that competed in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers’ Clark window, putting up numbers of 5.3 points and 3.0 rebounds in three games played.
The Bay Area, which will have players from China, will be making Manila as its homebase this year.
The team coached by Brian Goorjian will make its debut against Asvel Lyon in a friendly set to take place this September.