The seven-time PBA champion and 1994 Rookie of the Year Boybits Victoria passed away last Wednesday, March 1, due to a heart attack.

Victoria, 50, recently underwent an angioplasty. It is an operation used to open clogged heart arteries. 

In 2018, the former Sunkist and San Miguel Beer guard were discovered to have an autoimmune disorder. He eventually recovered after spending quite some time in the hospital.

After his passing at 6:55 p.m. at San Juan De Dios Manila, his children announced his death through a Facebook post.

OKBET Boybits Victoria

“Hello po, this is Boybits’ kids, Ciaz Victoria, and Nathan Victoria. It’s with a heavy heart that we announce our dad’s death from acute myocardial infarction, and he was pronounced dead at 6:55 pm at San Juan De Dios Manila,” they wrote.

Victoria’s memorial will be open to the public at the Loyola Memorial Chapels and Crematorium in Sucat. It will be there from March 2, at around 10 in the morning, until March 5 with the same time.

His children, Ciaz and Nathan are also open to any concerns regarding their father as they posted their personal numbers on the post.

“For any concerns about our dad, you may contact me at 09778343183 or through my messenger.”

A Look-back at his greatness

Victoria was a member of the San Beda Red Lions before getting selected third overall by the Swift during the 1994 PBA Rookie Draft. When the season concluded, he was named Rookie of the Year over Purefoods’ Rey Evangelista.

In 1995, he helped Sunkist to a near-Grandslam. The legend was among the main components for beating twice the Alaska Milkmen for the All-Filipino and Commissioner’s Cup titles.

He spent three more seasons with the Orange Juicers before taking his talents to San Miguel in 1999. He served as a backup point guard to Olsen Racela.

During his successful PBA career, Victoria was selected in the 1994 and 1995 Mythical Second Team.

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San Miguel Beermen is off to a great start with Jorge Gallent on the helm as they occupy the top-3 seat of the Honda S47 PBA Governor’s Cup, defeating Blackwater Bossing on Wednesday, February 2.

The Beermen dominated the entirety of the game, finishing off Bossing with an 86-105 performance. Jericho Cruz led all scorers with 22, followed by Cameron Clark (20 pts) and June Mar Fajardo (17 pts).

SMB shot 43 percent on the field and 41 percent on threes. Meanwhile, their opponent also had a good performance, with 41% and 33%.

However, Bossing was terrible at sharing the ball. They only had 20 assists compared to Beermen’s 32.

Blackwater was also not taking care of the ball, committing 19 turnovers (TO), which their opponent took advantage of, recording nine steals. The game concluded with SMB having 24 points from TOs and 20 fast break points.

Looking at the stats, SMB’s newest head coach was the main reason their latest game was a blowoff. Gallent ensured that all his players touched the ball, which is why his team had more assists than Bossing.

They also improved their defense, especially from deep, allowing only 27 looks.

“I think our offense is going up because of our defense,” Gallent said after the game. “It’s the defense that’s triggering our offense.”

The Beermen hopes to extend their win streak to 3 once they face Terrafirma Dyip at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City today, February 3.

Can Jorge Gallent continue the streak?

OKBET Jorge Gallent Beermen

Jorge Gallent, who replaced Leo Austria as Beermen’s head coach, is expected by many OKBET players to have a fashionable win against Dyip. However, SMB cannot tread lightly when going up against Terrafirma after managing an upset against the previously-unbeaten Meralco last January 28.

Moreover, the Beermen is facing an issue where they tend to relax after having a huge lead. 

For instance, their matchup against the Phoenix Fuel Masters. Their lead was 29 before going to halftime but went down to 13 in the fourth.

They somehow managed to rack up points to put away Phoenix for good, 114-93.

We just have to learn from it, and we just have to play smart,” Gallent pointed out. “In the first half, we kept running [our offense well], and then it suddenly stops. We just got to learn, [and] we just have to watch [the] film and see what’s happening there.

The coach added, “And like I always say, if we give other teams a chance to come back, they will take advantage of it.”

In the last two games, the Beermen relied on Cruz and Clark to initiate blowout after blowout, a strategy they would most likely use when they go against Dyip.

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A different San Miguel Beermen was seen during their match against the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters last Sunday, January 29, probably because Leo Austria is no longer heading the team.

The Beermen began their 2023 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governor’s Cup campaign with a commanding performance, decimating Phoenix, 114-93, at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City. Their performance was eye-catching but not as much as the visible “comfortability” of players playing under their new coach, Jorge Gallent.

 Beermen star June Mar Fajardo admitted to Daily Inquirer that they played the opening game “OK so far.” He hoped the team could sustain the momentum, especially with Gallent’s instructions.

As for Austria, Fajardo was glad he could relax and be stress-free since, according to SMB, the 64-year-old coach is on “sabbatical.”

“As with ‘Pops,’ he’s still with the team, so we still get to see him. I’m happy for him. He gets to relax, and I think he gets to play more [recreational] basketball at his place.”

Fajardo became one of the league’s greatest centers thanks to Austria, becoming a six-time Most Valuable Player (MVP) and a nine-time champion.

Is he really on sabbatical?

Although no longer the head coach, Austria remained part of SMB, eventually becoming a ‘consultant,’ said Beermen’s team manager Gee Abanilla.

“Coach Leo met with management a few days ago and informed us that he wishes to take a coaching sabbatical for personal reasons starting the Governors’ Cup,” he revealed earlier on Saturday. “We respect his decision, and we understand his situation as we fully support whatever he needs.”

Abanilla added, “With this development, he will remain with the team as a consultant, and we have elevated Jorge Gallent as the head coach.”

However, Austria’s son, Bacon, shared a hint that the “voluntary” exit of his father as head coach was far from the truth.

“These people can’t even get their statements right, scrambling for imaginary excuses,” wrote Bacon on his Twitter.

Fans speculated that the change in the coaching department was due to Austria’s failure to give SMB another chip.

“Not a fan of your father as a coach with all due respect. Pero Grabe naman an lg dami nang pinanalo niyan tapos isang conference na hindi mag champion after winning a championship tanggal?” wrote a netizen.

It was the Bay Area Dragons and the Brgy. Ginebra Gin Kings that met in the finals. The former defeated SMB in a best-of-five series with a standing of 3-1.

Austria’s Dominance as Beermen’s Coach

Being a consultant is a demotion compared to having the power to make plays and order players as a coach. 

OKBET Leo Austria booted as SMB coach

The decision of the management to sideline the legendary coach saddened Arwind Santos, former Beermen. He believed that Austria still had enough fuel in him to lead the team to another chip.

“I feel sad for coach Leo. For me, it’s not yet time for him to move on,” he told Inquirer in Filipino. “Firstly, he was coming off a championship run in the all-Filipino. If for three conferences and they didn’t win one, [the move] would’ve made sense.”

In his time as Beermen’s head coach, Leo Austria turned things around when the team struggled. He made sure that the players around Fajardo were built for not just one but multiple championships. Out of eight Finals appearances beginning in 2015, Austria contributed seven rings to SMB.

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Bay Area stars Myles Powell and Hayden Blankley were slapped with a massive fine by the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) last Thursday after violently reacting to the officiating of finals game 3 for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Mall of Asia Arena.

Powell was given a P100,000 fine, while Blankley got P75,000.

To put into context, Bay Area suffered an 89-82 loss to the Barangay Ginebra after wasting a seven-point lead during the last four minutes of the fourth quarter. The Bay Area stars then took to social media to air their frustration, particularly on the referees’ officiating.

In a now-deleted Instagram story, Blankley, who fouled out in the middle of the fourth quarter, claimed that the game was “cooked.” 

“Got nothing but love for the [Philippines] and its people, but at this point, it’s obvious, just let it be a fair game, please,” the player wrote. “As the locals would say—it’s ‘cooked.”

Meanwhile, Powell, who is inactive because of an injury, accused the organization of favoring Ginebra on free throws. In their match, stats revealed the Gin Kings having 38 attempts on the line while Bay Area only had 10.

Y’all saying we shot 21 free throws in game 2 & y’all only shot 5 proves exactly my point,” tweeted the team’s reserve import. As of this writing, the statement has been deleted from his account.

He even added that the referees have been “making the difference.” He said that a game should “just be a fair called game.”

Although both players apologized, PBA commissioner Willie Marcial called Blankley and Powell for a closed meeting following the incident.

OKBET Bay Area Hayden Blankley and Myles Powell fined

Bay Area Coach Frustrated but would not Switch

Brian Goorjian, Dragons coach, was obviously mad with their game three loss. 

“I really don’t think you wanna hear what I have to say. You guys saw the game. Completely…. that’s for everyone to see,” Goorjian, who received a technical foul, said to reporters last Wednesday.

They have until noon last Thursday to make a switch. According to Dragons team manager Maya Montecillo, they have no intention of sitting down their power forward, Andrew Nicholson. Nicholson injured his left ankle during game 3.

In the meantime, Powell is allowed to play as long as he conforms to the league’s arrangements.


On the OKBET site, the Gin Kings are slated to close the series in Friday’s game 4. The odds are 1.80 – 1.96. Ginebra is leading in this five-game series, 2-1, while the Dragons are hoping to extend it to game 5.

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