San Miguel coach Leo Austria made history with his third consecutive Coach of the Year Award, which was handed during the PBA Press Corps Awards Night at the Gloria Maris Restaurant inside Gateway Mall in Quezon City last Thursday.
Austria became only the third coach to be given with the Coach of the Year Award thrice, also known as the Baby Dalupan Award, in honor of legendary coach Baby Dalupan.
However, Austria became the first three-time winner to do it in consecutive years, also winning the 2015 and 2016 Coach of the Year honors.
With that said, Austria got the right to permanently own the Dalupan trophy, which is given to the coach who is named Coach of the Year three straight times.
Ginebra gaffer Tim Cone, who holds the most number of Coach of the Year plums with five, TNT’s Nash Racela, and Magnolia’s Chito Victolero were also considered for the said award.
Cone did not go home without a trophy, however, as he was named into the All-Interview Team together with his fellow Gin King LA Tenorio, TNT KaTropa’s Jayson Castro, Meralco Bolt Ranidel De Ocampo, Rain Or Shine Elasto Painter Beau Belga, and Magnolia Hotshot Marc Pingris.
Tenorio actually took home two awards as he was given the Order of Merit by the PBA Press Corps.
On the other hand, San Miguel Corporation boss Ramon Ang was feted with the Danny Floro Executive of the Year Award.
Also feted were TNT’s Kelly Williams (Bogs Adornado Comeback Player of the Year), SMB’s Chris Ross (Mighty Sports Defensive Player of the Year), Magnolia’s Jio Jalalon (Mr. Quality Minutes and All-Rookie Team member), GlobalPort’s Terrence Romeo (Mighty Sports Scoring Champion), TNT’s RR Pogoy, Phoenix’s Matt Wright, Ginebra’s Kevin Ferrer, and Kia’s Reden Celda (All-Rookie Team members).
Meanwhile, this year’s PBA Press Corps Awards marked the return of the “Game of the Season” given to the protagonists of the most memorable game of the year.
The Barangay and the Hotshots were given the award for their wild Governors’ Cup encounter on Sept. 3 that went down the wire even during overtime.