PBA Governors' Cup

Despite coaching change at San Miguel, June Mar Fajardo keeps in touch with Leo Austria

Delfin Dioquino
Despite coaching change at San Miguel, June Mar Fajardo keeps in touch with Leo Austria

OLD RELIABLE. June Mar Fajardo has been his usual, dominant self for San Miguel.

PBA Images

San Miguel star June Mar Fajardo admits he misses Leo Austria, who ended his eight-year stint as Beermen head coach

MANILA, Philippines – The bond between June Mar Fajardo and Leo Austria remains tight even as the champion mentor ended his eight-year stint as San Miguel head coach.

Fajardo said he remains in touch with Austria – who he fondly calls “Pops” – after being together for a decade, going back to the time when they still represented the Beermen in the ASEAN Basketball League.

Austria went on to join Fajardo and San Miguel in the PBA in 2014 and steered the storied franchise to nine championships – a stretch that also saw the 6-foot-10 big man crown himself the MVP a record six straight times.

“Of course I miss him,” said Fajardo in Filipino. “But we still talk.”

Fajardo, though, said it has not been much of an adjustment for him and the rest of the Beermen after San Miguel promoted former lead deputy Jorge Gallent to head coach.

Their first two games in the Governors’ Cup are proof, with the Beermen thrashing Phoenix and Blackwater by an average of 20 points for a 2-0 start.

Fajardo, who is on track for a record-extending seventh MVP plum, has also been his usual self as he norms 18 points, 14.5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1.5 steals.

“Coach Jorge has been with us for a long time. His system is almost the same as coach Leo, there are only a few adjustments,” said Fajardo.

Fajardo added Gallent wants to build on the winning tradition started by Austria.

“Coach Jorge always reminds us to continue the winning goals of coach Leo,” Fajardo said. – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.


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.