Leovino R. Austria (born March 14, 1958), better known as Leo Austria, born in Sariaya, Quezon, is a retired Filipino professional basketball player and former head coach of the Welcoat Dragons and the Shell Turbo Chargers in the Philippine Basketball Association. He is also the 1985 PBA Rookie of the Year. He later became the head coach of Chowking, Shark Energy Drink, and Welcoat/Rain or Shine in the Philippine Basketball League. He is currently the head coach of the Adamson Falcons.
Austria played his college basketball for the Lyceum of the Philippines University while also suiting up in the commercial Philippine Amateur Basketball League. In 1984, Austria was named the Most Valuable Player of the Ambassador's Cup before joining the PBA.
In 1985, new team Formula Shell drafted Austria, aside from nabbing fellow PABL standout Sonny Cabatu in the said draft. Austria made a quick impact for the new but veteran laden Shell squad and won the Rookie of the Year honors at season's end. His average of 3.9 points per game for the 1985 season marked the lowest average for a Rookie of the Year awardee up to that time. During his stint at Shell, Austria played backup point guard for Bernie Fabiosa, Al Solis, then Ronnie Magsanoc. Austria later played for Pepsi and was out of the league after the 1993 season. In 394 games played, he averaged 4.5 points a ballgame. He had been known for his three-point shooting.
In 1998, he was awarded the Quezon Medalya ng Karangalan Award for sports in 1998. The QMK Award is given to outstanding Quezonians who exceled in their chosen fields. In 1999, Austria suited up for a few games as a playing coach for his team Chowking due to injuries of his point guards.
Philippine Basketball LeagueEdit
Austria's first coaching stint was for Chowking during the late 90s. During those days, he steered Chowking to numerous semifinal appearances but were unable to clinch a finals appearance against powerhouse and PBA-bound team Tanduay, Red Bull, and Welcoat.
After Chowking was renamed as Shark Energy Drink in 2000, Austria led the team to two titles in four finals matches against Welcoat from 2000 to 2002. Austria coached a team led by Chester Tolomia, Roger Yap, Ervin Sotto, and Gilbert Malabanan.
In late 2002, Austria moved to former rival Welcoat Paints as its new head coach after returning from a one conference absence. With a star-studded lineup of Rommel Adducul, Paul Artadi, Eddie Laure, Ronald Tubid, and Marc Pingris, he led the Paintmasters to the 2002 PBL Challenge Cup championship over Dazz in a three-game sweep.
Austria later led Welcoat to a runner-up finish in 2003 with James Yap as one of its star players.
Shell Turbo ChargersEdit
In 2004, Shell dismissed American head coach John Moran and named Austria as its new head coach, 19 years after starting his PBA career with the said team. This led to Austria leaving the Welcoat franchise for the big league. During his only season with the Turbo Chargers, Austria coached a young but talented team of Tony dela Cruz, Ronald Tubid, Rookie of the Year Rich Alvarez, Billy Mamaril, and Roger Yap to two semifinal appearances and a third-place finish in the 2005 Fiesta Conference. However, Shell disbanded after the 2004-2005 season. Austria thus returned to the amateur ranks.
In 2005, Austria was named head coach of the Adamson Falcons in the UAAP replacing Mel Alas after a disappointing 3-11 stint. With Austria at the helm, the Falcons made their first-ever Final Four appearance since the format was introduced. However, they were eliminated by the Ateneo Blue Eagles in a closely fought semifinals. But, individual players blossomed with Ken Bono winning the UAAP MVP.
Rain or Shine Elasto Painters/Welcoat DragonsEdit
In 2006, Welcoat bought the Shell franchise to join the PBA as its 10th member. With this development, Austria was renamed head coach of the Welbest franchise, this time carrying the banner of Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in preparation for their PBA debut. The Painters placed third in the 2006 PBL Unity Cup in the team's final conference.
Austria was formally named as the head coach of the Welcoat Dragons in the PBA. But after two seasons with the team, he resigned as head coach citing that the management wanted a new direction. His former assistant Caloy Garcia took over his spot.
|2004–05||Philippine Cup||SHL||12||6||.667||3rd||4||0||4||.000||Lost in third-place playoff|
|Fiesta||SHL||7||11||.389||9th||8||5||3||.625||Won in third-place playoff|
|2005–06||Fiesta||(Coached for the Adamson Falcons)|
|2006–07||Philippine Cup||WEL||3||15||.167||10th||0||Did not qualify|
|Fiesta||WEL||4||14||.222||10th||0||Did not qualify|
|2006–07||Philippine Cup||WEL||4||14||.222||10th||0||Did not qualify|
|2006||AdU||6||6||.500||4th||2||0||2||.000||Lost to UST in the 3rd-seed playoff, Lost to Ateneo in the semifinals|
|2007||(Coached for the Welcoat Dragons)|
|2008||AdU||3||11||.214||7th||0||0||0||--||Did not qualify|
|2009||AdU||5||9||.358||5th||0||0||0||--||Did not qualify|
|2010||AdU||9||5||.643||3rd||1||0||1||.000||Lost to Ateneo in the semifinals|
|2011||AdU||10||4||.714||2nd||2||0||2||.000||Lost to FEU in the semifinals|
- The top 20 players of the PBL
- Ex-player Austria named new Shell Turbochargers coach
- Past Quezon Medalya ng Karangalan awardees (Leo Austria was awarded the QMK for Sports in 1988)