IF given the chance in the future, Leo Austria is seeking to reach full circle as far as his coaching career is concerned.
Less than a week removed from winning his second PBA title in his third conference as San Miguel Beer coach, the soft-spoken mentor didn’t deny he still has an unfinished business in the UAAP. And if the opportunity to handle a college team comes his way again once he's through in the pro league, Austria said he’ll certainly welcome such option.
“Nanalo na ako ng championship sa PBL (Philippine Basketball League), ABL (Asean Basketball League), and eto nga sa PBA,” said Austria, interviewed on air by Ria Arevalo in the program Hoop Talk aired over DZSR Sports Radio 918.
“Kaya kung mabigyan ng pagkakataon (sa future), gusto kong i-consider uli ang mag-coach sa UAAP.”
Austria’s fascination for coaching once more in the college level is understood.
The pride of Sariaya, Quezon is credited for the revival of Adamson’s basketball program in the past, having steered the Falcons to back-to-back Final Four stints in 2010 and 2011, respectively. The team however, failed to make it past the semifinals both times, losing to Ateneo and Far Eastern University.
The 57-year-old Austria stepped down as coach of the San Marcelino-based school following a dismal showing in his final season in 2013. Overall, he compiled a record of 40-56 in seven seasons with the Falcons.
The 2013 ABL Coach of the Year, however, didn’t mention which college team he prefers to handle.
But for now, Austria’s focus is definitely with the Beermen who he expect to remain as contenders behind a core bannered by two-time league MVP June Mar Fajardo.
“Siyempre, nagpapasalamat tayo sa management for their support sa team led by boss Ramon S. Ang, and boss Bobby Huang. Siyempre kay boss Robert (Non), kay (team manager) Gie (Abanilla), na halos araw-araw nakatutok sa amin, and kay coach Al (Chua),” he said.
“Pero siyempre ang talagang bida rito ay yung mga players. Sila June Mar, Arwind (Santos), Marcio (Lassiter), (Chris) Lutz, and the the entire team. Sila ang dahilan kaya naririto tayo," added Austria, who basked in the glory again together with the entire Beermen Tuesday night during the team's victory party celebration at the SMC head office.