MANILA, Philippines – For the fourth time in the last 5 seasons, San Miguel tactician Leo Austria will be hailed the PBA Coach of the Year.
Austria beat Barangay Ginebra mentor Tim Cone for the coveted Virgilio “Baby” Dalupan trophy that will be awarded by the PBA Press Corps.
Steering San Miguel to back-to-back titles last season, including a historic fifth straight Philippine Cup crown, Austria emerged as the winner for the award named after the “Maestro” of Philippine basketball.
Austria will break his tie with Cone and Ryan Gregorio for number of Coach of the Year honors and will move to the solo No. 2 spot, just behind five-time winner Chot Reyes.
The Sariaya, Quezon native captured the award for 3 straight seasons from 2015 to 2017 and earned the right to take home the Perpetual Trophy, which was first given in 1993, permanently.
Austria could have made it 5 straight Coach of the Year victories but he was beaten by Magnolia mentor Chito Victolero in 2018.
Cone was in consideration for the award as he and Ginebra once again prevented San Miguel from completing a Grand Slam last season, but winning 2 of the 3 conferences sealed the deal for Austria.
Austria will now have to wait for his coronation as the awards night, which was originally scheduled last March 16, had been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus crisis in the country.
Also to be recognized by the PBA Press Corps are NorthPort forward Sean Anthony, who will be crowned the Defensive Player of the Year, and PBA board chairman Ricky Vargas, who will be feted as Executive of the Year. – Rappler.com