Perpetual Altas grateful for Aric magic
MANILA, Philippines – Aric del Rosario may have carved out his stellar coaching career with the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Tigers in the UAAP, but the Perpetual Altas also experienced how it’s like to be under the helm of the legendary mentor in the NCAA.
The Altas paid tribute to Del Rosario, fondly called “Tatay Aric,” who passed away Thursday, March 26. (READ: Legendary UST basketball coach Aric del Rosario dies)
"He was not only a coach but also a father to us,” said former Altas player GJ Ylagan.
Former Altas standout and now Ginebra star Scottie Thompson also appreciated all the lessons he learned from Del Rosario.
“Hanggang PBA dala-dala ko pa rin ang lahat ng itinuro mo sa akin. Ikaw ang isa sa dahilan kung ‘asan ako ngayon,” said Thompson.
(I brought to the PBA everything you taught me. You’re one of the reasons why I’m here today.)
Del Rosario served as head coach of the Perpetual Altas men’s basketball team from 2012 to 2015, the remarkable years when the team made it to the Final Four for 3 consecutive seasons.
Del Rosario had been serving as NCAA commissioner from 2009 to 2011, before Antonio L. Tamayo, chairman and CEO of the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA, managed to lure Del Rosario back to the coaching sidelines. (READ: 'Farewell, Tatay Aric': PH basketball mourns Del Rosario's passing)
“I will never forget the time when you gladly accepted the challenge to mentor my basketball team,” said Tamayo, who was also Del Rosario’s good friend and fellow Thomasian.
When Del Rosario took over the Altas in 2012, he was no stranger to whipping a contender.
In 1993, Del Rosario steered the UST Tigers to a 14-0 sweep, a historic run that jumpstarted a four-peat UAAP title romp until 1996.
While calling the shots for UST from 1992 to 2003, Del Rosario also mentored Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA) champion team Pampanga Dragons, served as deputy to PBA teams Alaska Aces and Talk 'N Text, as well as the national team. (READ: Tim Cone crushed by Aric del Rosario death: 'He always kept me grounded’)
“I am deeply saddened that I cannot pay my final respects to my dear friend because of the enhanced community quarantine,” said Tamayo. “But my prayers go out to him and his family during this difficult time.”
Former Perpetual players, coaches and friends of Del Rosario also offered their deepest sympathy and condolences to his family.
“Perpetual Altas will be forever grateful to you coach Aric. We appreciate what you have done for our university,” said team manager Anton Tamayo. “It was because of your patience and persistence that Perpetual Help was once again recognized as a team to beat in the NCAA league.”
Del Rosario also coined the Perpetual’s battlecry “We stay together.”
Other players Del Rosario mentored were Gab Danganon, Harold Arboleda, Justine Alano, Jong Baloria, Anthony Paulino, Jett Vidal, Chester Saldua, Ric Gallardo, Keith Pido, George Allen, Nestor Bantayan, Anton Tamayo, Prince Eze, Bright Akhuetie, and coach Gerald Dizon. – Rappler.com