Winning championships has become a habit for Leo Austria.
And so does bagging Coach of the Year award.
For the fourth time in the last five years, the San Miguel mentor will be the recipient of the coveted Virgilio ‘Baby’ Dalupan trophy in the annual PBA Press Corps Awards ceremony.
Austria, 62, edged Brgy. Ginebra coaching great Tim Cone for the honor named after the late great ‘Maestro’ of Philippine basketball.
The crowning glory for Austria will have to wait further however, as the awarding rite, originally scheduled last March 16 at the Novotel Manila in Araneta Center and to be aired over Cignal TV, had been postponed indefinitely following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Austria, the former Rookie of the Year (1985), clinched the award annually given by the men and women who regularly cover the PBA beat, after guiding San Miguel to back-to-back championships in the 2019 season, including a record fifth straight crown in the Philippine Cup.
Following their title triumph in the mid-season Commissioner’s Cup, the Beermen were in line of gunning for a rare grand slam, but faltered in the homestretch of the Governors’ Cup, which Cone and the Kings eventually won.