LEO Austria, fresh from steering the San Miguel Beermen to the Asean Basketball League (ABL) championship, said he has not been contacted for a possible head-coaching job in the PBA.
Austria said no one from the San Miguel Corp. organization has talked to him about a return to Asia’s pioneering pro league where he once served as coach of Formula Shell and Welcoat Paints.
But he did admit hearing a lot of rumors surrounding reports he’s being considered for a coaching job with one of San Miguel’s three ballclubs in the PBA.
“Wala pa naman kaming napapag-usapan regarding diyan, although marami kang naririnig,” Austria told Spin.ph.
Austria’s name has been constantly mentioned as among the leading contenders for a coaching job within the pro league – specifically Petron – especially after successfully leading the Beermen to a sweep of the Indonesia Warriors during the ABL Finals early this week.
A `re-organization in Petron coaching staff’ was the main reason La Salle cited for letting go of coach Gee Abanilla after just one season as Archers mentor. Abanilla, one of several deputies at Petron, has been recalled by the Boosters from his coaching duties with the Taft-based school.
But Austria said after the ABL, his focus now is with his other coaching duties with Adamson in the UAAP.
“Ongoing na ang UAAP (preparations). I still have a contract sa Adamson,” said the former PBA Rookie of the Year.
Under PBA rules, league coaches are not allowed to assume similar roles in other tournaments such as the UAAP.
But Austria disclosed he’s now in his final year as Adamson coach, a position he has held for six seasons.
“My contract will expire by end of October. Sa ngayon, hindi pa kami nag-uusap (ng Adamson),” he said.
Austria assumed the role of Falcons coach in 2006 when he led the school to a Final Four stint before skipping the following season when he assumed the role as head coach of then-expansion franchise Welcoat (now Rain or Shine) in the PBA.
He returned to Adamson in 2008 and led the team to the Final Four in 2010 and 2011, respectively.