PBA Governors' Cup

Jorge Gallent takes on mighty San Miguel challenge after replacing Leo Austria

Delfin Dioquino
Jorge Gallent takes on mighty San Miguel challenge after replacing Leo Austria

APPOINTED. Jorge Gallent picks up his first win as the new San Miguel head coach.

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Jorge Gallent admits he has yet to talk to Leo Austria since San Miguel pulled the trigger on its head coaching change

MANILA, Philippines – Expectations are high for Jorge Gallent as his appointment as new San Miguel head coach begins a new era for the mighty Beermen.

Gallent took over the coaching reins from Leo Austria, who steered San Miguel to nine championships – including a record five straight Philippine Cup crowns – in his eight years at the helm.

Austria also came close to guiding the Beermen to a rare Grand Slam twice when they won the first two titles of the 2016-17 and 2019 seasons.

But while replicating what Austria accomplished for the fabled franchise may be daunting, Gallent finds comfort in the fact that San Miguel bosses has his back.

“I’m very happy. Pressured, yes, but you know, the management is always there to support us. So, there is nothing to worry about,” said Gallent.

Gallent passed his first test as Beermen head coach with flying colors as San Miguel coasted to a 114-93 romp of Phoenix to open its Governors’ Cup campaign on Sunday, January 29.

The Beermen enjoyed a lead as big as 33 points before they needed to fend off the Fuel Masters’ fourth-quarter comeback.

“We just have to fix a little minor things. But nothing major,” said Gallent, whose last head coaching stint in the PBA came in 2011 for the B-Meg Derby Ace Llamados.

“So, the things we were doing in the past few games, we just fixed them a little.”

The next order of business for Gallent is to meet Austria, admitting that he has yet to talk to his predecessor.

San Miguel said Austria will remain with the Beermen as consultant amid his sabbatical from coaching, although he was nowhere to be found in the game against Phoenix at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

“Maybe in a few weeks or in a few days,” Gallent said. – Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.