Austria, Cone, Victolero to coach PBA All-Star teams anew
After steering their teams again to the top 3, the trio will return to the All-Star games slated May 23 to 27

TOP COACH. Leo Austria, who mentored the San Miguel Beermen to a record 4th straight PBA Philippine Cup title, will call the shots for the Luzon team. Photo by PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines – Coaches Leo Austria, Chito Victolero, and Tim Cone will have an encore in this year’s PBA All-Star. 

The trio is again set to call the shots for the 3 All-Star teams competing against the national squad in the May 23-27 event that will travel from Luzon, Visayas, all the way to Mindanao.

All three coaches earned a return trip to the All-Star week based on their respective team’s finish during the Philippine Cup, which Austria and the San Miguel Beermen won for a record 4th straight season.

But Austria and company switched places this time as they bid to put one over the national squad during the mid-season spectacle, which counts on Phoenix Fuel with Phoenix Pulse Technology as major sponsor.

Cone gets a first crack against members of the national pool as he handles the Mindanao selection that battles the Philippine side on May 23 in Davao.

Austria and the Luzon squad follow next on May 25 in Batangas City, before Victolero and the Visayas team get their turn on May 27 in Iloilo City to cap the five-day hoopla also supported by Peak sports apparel.

Last year, only Victolero did better out of the three coaches under the same tournament format as the Mindanao selection managed to hold the national pool team to a draw, 114-all.

Both Austria (Luzon) and Cone (Visayas) went home empty-handed after absorbing a 122-111 and 125-112 beating, respectively.

This year, Cone will have at his disposal a guard-heavy starting lineup composed of Barangay Ginebra player Scottie Thompson, and the Magnolia trio of Mark Barroca, Jio Jalalon, and Peter June Simon, with Blackwater’s Mac Belo as the sole big man in the middle.

The stint with the Mindanao team also marks as a reunion for Cone with Barroca and Simon, with who he won four titles, including a grand slam in 2014 while still coaching the Hotshots. –