THE victorious Leo Austria knows it’s just a matter of time before Alex Compton, his former understudy, finally scores a breakthrough championship as coach in the PBA.
Austria offered consoling words to an obviously dejected Compton just a few minutes after San Miguel completed a rare piece of history by beating Alaska in their do-or-die encounter for the Philippine Cup championship Wednesday night at the Araneta Coliseum.
“I congratulated him … Sabi ko sa kanya your time will come because I know he’s doing very well,” said Austria when asked what he told Compton after the Beermen became the first ever team in league history to climb back from a huge 0-3 hole in a playoff series.
The setback marked the third time Compton lost to Austria in the finals involving both teams, including twice in the all-Filipino.
Austria added telling to his former assistant that he was just lucky to have escaped with a win this time.
“Both of us are deserving to win a championship, mas masuwerte lang ako,” he added about his long talk at the sidelines with the American mentor, who served as one of his deputies when he first became a coach in the league in 2006 with Welcot (now Rain or Shine).
And Compton’s reply?
“Sabi niya, no, you’re better than us,” recalled Austria of their conversation.
The Beermen did prove to be the better team especially in the final four games of the series, where they clawed their way back from the grave including back-to-back victories in overtime plays.
Authoring the greatest comeback in the 41-year history of the league had been so exhausting for Austria and the Beermen that winning a third straight championship is out of their minds at the moment, even with the mid-season Commissioner’s Cup all set to kick off on Wednesday.
“It’s hard to think about it (winning another title),” Austria admitted. “We just want to enjoy this championship because this is a historic victory for us.”