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Austria deflects credit to Beermen for 2019 PBA Coach of the Year plum

Leo Austria finally received his 2019 Baby Dalupan PBA Coach of the Year award in the PBA Press Corps Awards Night, Sunday at the TV5 Media Center.

The San Miguel head coach won his fourth CotY honors for steering the Beermen to two championships in the 2019 season. He now moves just one award away from tying Chot Reyes for the most number of titles.

“This recognition will serve as an inspiration and motivation for me to work harder,” Austria said. “This wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of the San Miguel team, so I share this award with you.

“This wouldn’t be possible without the players. They made this for me.”

The 62-year-old bench tactician led his crew towards an unprecedented fifth consecutive Philippine Cup title after edging out sister teams yet fierce rivals Magnolia Hotshots in seven grueling games.

He then added the Commissioner’s Cup crown next, winning so at the expense of the Terrence Jones-reinforced TNT in six games. That boosted the storied franchise’s championship count to a league-best 27.

Austria, who also had himself a solid playing career that saw him win 1985 PBA Rookie of the Year honors, now has eight championships under his belt since taking over San Miguel’s head coaching reins in 2014.

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Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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