Someone from the San Miguel Beermen made history at the 2017 PBA Press Corps Awards Night on Thursday and it wasn’t June Mar Fajardo.
SMB coach Leo Austria cemented his legacy as one of the best coaches in the league’s history after winning the Coach of the Year award for three years in a row, becoming the first coach to do so in the last 25 years.
Achieving the historic feat earned Austria the right to keep the original Virgilio “Baby” Dalupan trophy. The award was named after the legendary coach dubbed “The Maestro” who won 15 titles in the PBA.
Austria’s players, Chris Ross and Alex Cabagnot, were also recognized for their performances in the 42nd season of the PBA. Ross was named Defensive Player of the Year and was cited, along with Cabagnot, for winning Finals MVP awards in the Philippine Cup and Commissioner’s Cup, respectively.
Barangay Ginebra’s LA Tenorio also got recognition for being the Governors’ Cup Finals MVP and was the recipient of the Order of Merit.
Meanwhile, Ramon S. Ang, president and CEO of San Miguel Corp., took home the Danny Floro Executive of the Year award.
TNT’s Kelly Williams was cited as the Bogs Adornado Comeback Player of the Year, an award in honor of the PBA legend who bounced back from a career-threatening injury to win MVP.
RR Pogoy, Matthew Wright, Jio Jalalon, Kevin Ferrer and Reden Celda made up the All Rookie Team, while Tenorio, Jayson Castro, Ranidel De Ocmapo, Beau Belga, Tim Cone and Marc Pingris were part of the All Interview Team.
The other awardees were GlobalPort’s Terrence Romeo (Scoring Champion) and Magnolia Hotshots’ Jio Jalalon (Mr. Quality Minutes).
The PBA Press Corps also recognized the Ginebra and Star “Manila Clasico” on September 3 as the Game of the Season. The game went into overtime with the Kings winning, 105-101, in front of 15,325 fans inside the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.