PBA: Leo Austria to take coaching break, relegated to consultant says San Miguel
MANILA, Philippines—San Miguel Beer on Saturday said that Leo Austria will remain with the team under a different capacity following the appointment of Jorge Gallent as its new coach beginning in the season-ending PBA Governors’ Cup.
Team manager Gee Abanilla bared that the move came after Austria asked management to take a break due to personal reasons, prompting to elevate Gallent from his previous role as lead assistant.
“Coach Leo met with management a few days ago and informed us that he wishes to take a coaching sabbatical for personal reasons starting the Governors’ Cup,” Abanilla said. “We respect his decision and we understand his situation as we fully support whatever he needs.
“With this development, he will remain with the team as a consultant and we have elevated Coach Jorge as the head coach,” Abanilla added.
Austria guided San Miguel to nine championships during his tenure that began in the 2014-15, falling short of a Grand Slam twice in 2017 and 2019.
His recent one came in this season’s Philippine Cup, but missed a significant portion of the Commissioner’s Cup due to health and safety protocols which prompted San Miguel to tap Gallent on an interim role.
Gallent’s seven-game stint while Austria was out allowed San Miguel to overcome a 3-5 start to reach the semis of the midseason conference.
It will be Gallent’s second head coaching role in the league after handling B-Meg (now Magnolia) during the 2010-11 campaign.
“Coach Jorge will take over bringing with him PBA head coaching experience and an exciting future for the franchise. To the [San Miguel] supporters, rest assured that we will continue to WORK TOGETHER and strive for a successful campaign in the Governors’ Cup onwards,” concluded Abanilla in his statement.
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