Sunday, September 9, 2007
Today's generation will find it difficult to reconcile Leo Austria, the coach, to the Leo Austria who once upon a time terrorized the PBL hardcourt with his booming triples and gutsy playmaking.
But Austria was all that. The former Lyceum Pirate, long before bad eyesight and good coaching skills set in, was a certified PBL superstar who, despite his 5-8 frame, was perhaps one of the finest quarterbacks to ever dribble a basketball.
The pride of Sariaya, Quezon, Austria started out as a varsity cager from the Lyceum of the Philippines, playing for the now-defunct MUCAA before moving on to the PABL, the precursor of the PBL.
Austria immediately made an impact in the league, and was voted Most Valuable Player in the Ambassador's Cup back in 1984
Today, Austria has come back full circle as a coach of Welcoat in the PBL. And just like in his playing days, "coach Leo" remains a winner, having steered the Paintmasters in the recent Challenge Cup.