Coach Leo Austria may have failed to win three straight championships this season, but steering the San Miguel Beermen to two championships was enough to bag him his third straight Coach of the Year award.
The award handed out by the PBA Press Corps. was named after legendary coach Virgilio “Baby” Dalupan. Because Austria won the award for the third straight year, he will get to keep the trophy. He is the first coach since the award was given out in 1993 to win three straight times.
Austria took over the San Miguel Beermen back in 2014. Since then he has won at least one championship every year he’s coached the team. This year, he led the Beermen to their third straight Philippine Cup crown as well as their first Commissioner’s Cup championship since 2000.
The only other coaches to win consecutive Coach of the Year awards are Chot Reyes (2002, 2003) and Perry Ronquillo (1998, 1999). He also joins Tim Cone and Reyes as the only coaches to have won the award three times. Cone won the award in 1994, 1996 and 2014 while Reyes leads all coaches with five awards (1993, 2002, 2003, 2009, 2011).
The other winners of the PBA Press Corp. Awards are:
- William “Bogs” Adornado Comeback Player of the Year – Kelly Williams
- Mighty Sports Defensive Player of the Year – Chris Ross
- Mr. Quality Minutes – Jio Jalalon.
- Game of the Season – Governors’ Cup meeting between Ginebra and Star held on September 3 (Ginebra won in overtime, 105-101)
- Mighty Sports Scoring Champion – Terrence Romeo
- Order of Merit – LA Tenorio
- All Rookie Team – Roger Pogoy, Jio Jalalon, Matthew Wright, Kevin Ferrer, and Reden Celda
- All Interview Team – Coach Tim Cone, Jayson Castro, Ranidel de Ocampo, Marc Pingris, Beau Belga, and LA Tenorio
The 24th PBA Press Corps will take place on Thursday, November 30.