Austria turns emotional after SMB win as wife undergoes kidney transplant

San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria turned emotional during the post-game press conference after the Beermen advanced to the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals following a win over TNT Tuesday night.

Austria couldn’t hold back his tears after revealing that his wife Nanette underwent a successful kidney transplant just this afternoon.

“First of all I want to praise God. I never had sleep last night because of my wife, she’s undergone a kidney transplant but [it was a] very successful operation for her and I know she’s watching right now. So Ma, I love you,” said Austria as he fought back tears.

An emotional Leo Austria during the post-game interview. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

“This afternoon I was called by the doctor that everything is okay and now she’s in the recovery room. Very successful,” he said. “Thank you to the doctor who helped us a lot in this kidney transplant. I never had a problem for so long but this time, so thankful to God because he still gave us the win and the players really played well.”

The Beermen won by double digits, 106-93, but Austria said it was “the hardest game” they ever played against the KaTropa, who are still a powerhouse team despite being the eighth-seed.

“I’m worried in this game, but I have to be credit to the boys especially JMF (Fajardo). He was so focused in this game. All of them. We followed our game plan to the letter. Thank you SMB, especially my players for giving this win.”

Fajardo played like the reigning four-time MVP that he is, finishing with 35 points on 15-of-19 shooting from the field, 11 rebounds and two blocks.


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