Double celebration for Austria as SMB reach semis on same day as wife's successful kidney operation
SMB coach Leo Austria turned emotional as the Beermen reached the semis on the same day of his wife's successful kidney transplant. Marlo Cueto

IT was twice the relief for San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria on Tuesday night.

Not only did he steer the Beermen to a 106-93 win over worthy challenger TNT KaTropa in their PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinal matchup, but he was also glad to reveal that his wife, Ana, has undergone a successful kidney operation earlier in the day.

“First of all I want to praise God; I never had sleep last night because of my wife,” Austria said as he turned emotional in the post-game conference.

“She undergone a kidney transplant, but thank you Lord, very successful operation for her, and I know she's watching right now.”

Austria related that the he knew that her wife was already in recovery in the afternoon.

“Very successful, and thank you sa mga doctor, especially wife of Rommel Adducul, who helped us a lot, going to the kidney transplant,” the SMB coach said. “So many doctors I have to thank. I never had a problem for so long, but this time I'm so thankful to God dahil binigyan niya pa ako ng panalo.

“The players really played well,” he added. “And, wala na akong masasabi dahil God is always in our side, and maybe because of the integrity and what we plant, growing up ano. And then, ito, sinuklian niya ako ngayon. Thank you sa mga players, masayang-masaya ako para sa kanila.”

That’s the least the powerhouse Beermen could do for their coach, who has led them to five championships since he was at the helm.

“We really wanted to just play for him and his family,” Chris Ross said. “We know that he had a heavy heart and he hasn’t been getting much sleep. He's been with us at practice every day, hasn't complained about it, hasn't brought it up, hasn't mentioned it. And um, that's just a testament to the type of professional that he is.”

“He's really a hard worker, and he really puts a lot of time into preparing us for what we have to do, so that was for Coach Leo and his son Bacs,” he added. “We really wanted to go out there and play hard and try to get that win for the Austria family.”

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