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    Leo Austria Marcio Lassiter SMB vs TNT Game 7
    Leo Austria is now tied with Chot Reyes and Jong Uichico for fourth-most PBA titles.
    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto

    SAN Miguel coach Leo Austria paid tribute to his players after winning his ninth PBA crown of his coaching career.

    Leo Austria reaches milestone

    Austria thanked his players by repeating his previous statements during their past title runs after another achievement where he now tied Jong Uichico and Chot Reyes for fourth-most titles in the PBA.

    “Sila ang may gawa ng lahat ng ito. Kaya ako nagpapasalamat sa kanila dahil nag-mukha na naman akong magaling,” said Austria during the awarding ceremony after the San Miguel came away victorious, 119-97, in Game Seven.

    Austria recognized the players amidst several doubters on social media about his capability as head coach. The 64-year-old mentor admitted he has heard the critics, but added that winning a championship is not a responsibility of one man alone, and he has to do his share.

    “Lagi ko nababanggit ‘yung going to the finals and playoffs, there’s a lot of people on social media na mga critics. Sabi ko sinesuwerte lagi ako, gumagaling ako dahil sa mga players. Until now, there’s so many doubters sa performance namin.”

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    “I have to admit na hindi ko ito kaya ng sarili ko. With the help of the coaching staff and of course, of management, coach Al (Chua), and especially boss RSA na naglagay sa akin dito, I have to work hard although there’s pressure to win,” said Austria.

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      Austria said working together has been the hallmark of their championships, and it rubbed off on the players such as CJ Perez and Vic Manuel, who won their first championship in their PBA careers.

      “The players, most especially doon sa new to the team, they also want to share and to know the happiness of winning the championship. Si CJ, scoring champion. Si Vic, in the finals, hindi makuha kuha ang championship. Ang sabi niya, pinapaiyak lagi ako ng San Miguel. Ngayon, tutulong ako para manalo ng championship with San Miguel,” said Austria.

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      Leo Austria is now tied with Chot Reyes and Jong Uichico for fourth-most PBA titles.
      PHOTO: Marlo Cueto
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