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San Miguel's Leo Austria named Coach of the Year by PBA Press Corps

San Miguel head coach Leo Austria separated himself from distinguished company after winning the PBA Press Corps Coach of the Year award for the 2019 season.

Austria, who steered the Beermen to two titles last year, will take home the coveted Virgilio "Baby" Dalupan trophy for the fourth time in five years.

In the process, the 62-year-old Austria leapfrogged Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone and Ryan Gregorio, both with three awards each, to move into solo second for most in league history.

Former Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes is at the top of the all-time list with five.

Back-to-back titles in 2019, including a record fifth-straight title in the Philippine Cup, sealed the deal for Austria.

Not even a loss to Cone and eventual champion Gin Kings in the season-ending Governors' Cup, which derailed SMB's hopes for a rare Grand Slam, denied Austria of a chance to pad his legacy.

Austria had earlier made history as being the only coach so far to win the award for three consecutive seasons after clinching the vote from 2015 to 2017, earning him the right to keep the Perpetual Trophy permanently.

Austria will have to wait a little more to receive the trophy, though, as the awards night, originally scheduled March 16 had been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.