PBA Philippine Cup

Leo Austria pays tribute to San Miguel players: ‘They make me look good’

Delfin Dioquino
Leo Austria pays tribute to San Miguel players: ‘They make me look good’

ANOTHER TITLE. Leo Austria bags his ninth PBA championship with San Miguel.

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Leo Austria has yet to lose in the PBA Philippine Cup finals as he guides San Miguel to the title following a grueling seven-game series against TNT

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

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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.