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MANILA, Philippines – Leo Austria remains unbeaten in the PBA Philippine finals.
Austria improved to an impressive 6-0 in All-Filipino title series as he guided San Miguel to the championship following a resounding 119-97 win over TNT in the winner-take-all Game 7 on Sunday, September 4.
But instead of taking the credit, Austria deflected it to his players.
“They made this possible. I thank them because they make me look good,” Austria said in Filipino as the Beermen ended a three-year title drought.
Appointed as San Miguel head coach in 2014, Austria enjoyed sustained success with the franchise as they dominated the league, winning a record five straight All-Filipino crowns from 2015 to 2019.
Individually, Austria is tied with Tim Cone at second place for most PBA Coach of the Year plums with four apiece, just behind six-time winner Chot Reyes.
Austria, though, admitted there are still skeptics who question his capability as a coach.
“There are a lot of people of social media who are critics. That is why I say I’m always lucky and I look good because of the players,” Austria said.
“Until now, there are so many doubters about our performance. I have to admit that I could not have done this all by myself.”
While the feeling of winning a title is no longer new to Austria, he is glad to share the experience with several of his players who had never won a championship in the PBA.
Among the first-time champions included CJ Perez, Vic Manuel, Mo Tautuaa, Simon Enciso, Jeepy Faundo, and Mike Canete.
“This is a great motivation for them because once a player wins a championship, they want to win again. Their passion to win a championship is there,” Austria said.
“For me, it is really not hard to coach them now because they know the glory of winning a championship.” – Rappler.com