Leo Austria, Tim Cone and Chito Victolero crowd each other out for the 2018 Coach of the Year as the PBA Press Corps celebrates the 25th year of its traditional Awards Night on Jan. 21 at the Novotel Manila Araneta Center.
All three coaches won a championship each during the league’s 43rd season that made them in contention for the coveted Virgilio ‘Baby’ Dalupan trophy, named after the late great ‘Maestro’ of coaching, to be handed out as the highlight of the yearly affair that will be marking its silver anniversary.
Austria won a fourth straight Philippine Cup title for San Miguel, Cone steered Barangay Ginebra to its first Commissioner’s Cup championship in 21 years, while Victolero won his first coaching crown after leading Magnolia Pambansang Manok to its first title since the 2014 grand slam season.
During the 24th edition of the event, Austria ran away with his third straight Coach of the Year award that enabled him to permanently keep the perpetual Dalupan trophy and become the first-ever mentor to do so since the group of sportswriters from both print and online media began handing out the plum 1993.
Cone was Coach of the Year three times (1994, 1996, and 2014), while Victolero is vying for the award for the first time.
Along with the Coach of the Year, also to be given out are the Executive of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Mr. Quality Minutes, and Breakout Player of the season.
As part of its 25th-year anniversary celebration, the PBAPC is set to name the first-ever recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award and the revived President’s Award.
Completing the honor roll list are the Game of the Season, All-Rookie Team, All-Interview Team, Scoring Champion, and the Order of Merit, which is given out to the one who had the most number of Player of the Week winner.