It’s nearly impossible to talk about the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) without mentioning the dominant force that is San Miguel Corporation (SMC).
The conglomerate’s flagship teams — San Miguel Beer, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Magnolia — have won 17 of the last 19 PBA titles, a stark proof of the success of its basketball program.
And Beermen head coach Leo Austria was quick to reveal the secret behind their glory through the years: Collective effort.
“It’s really a total team effort because if for example, the players won’t perform well then we would not amount to anything,” Austria shared to Daily Tribune.
“The players, the coaches and the management have to work together in order to attain our vision, which is to win championships as much as we can.”
Austria’s Beermen have ruled the past five Philippine Cup conferences while also capturing two Commissioner’s Cup in 2016 and 2019 and a Governors’ Cup title in 2015.
Ginebra, touted as the crowd favorite, has captured three Governors’ Cup (2016, 2017 and 2019) and ruled the 2017 Commissioner’s Cup.
Its latest feat was the historic 2020 Philippine Cup that was held inside a bubble setup in Clark for almost three months.
The Hotshots, who are being led by head coach Chito Victolero, had won four championships in the past seven years including the rare Grand Slam during the 2013-2014 season.
For Austria, their success didn’t happen overnight.
“It takes a lot of hard work and full commitment from all the parties involved,” the 63-year-old tactician.
“We are just lucky that we are in a company where the management really cares not only for the players but as well as the staff.”
Lastly, Austria gave credit where credit is due.
He said the management, led by SMC president Ramon Ang and sports director Alfrancis Chua, was nothing short of generous in taking care of their teams.
“We don’t even demand but they are giving what we need and what they think will help us win these titles,” he shared.
“They were always behind us and I don’t think all this would be possible if not for them.”