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Magaling na coach, mabuting kaibigan si Del Rosario – Tim

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Nalagasan ng isang magiting ang mundo ng basketball sa Pilipinas.

Binawian ng buhay nitong Martes ang alamat na si Januario ‘Aric’ del Rosario, 80, dahil sa cardiac arrest.

Isinugod ang coach na tubong Pampanga sa ospital dahil nahirapang huminga.

Bumuhos ang tribute kay coach Aric sa social media kahapon mula sa mga dati niyang nakasama, kapwa-coaches at dating players.

Naglaro si Del Rosario sa UST noong ‘60s pero sa coaching siya mas nakilala.

Siya ang arkitekto ng apat na sunod na kampeonato ng Growling Tigers mula 1993 hanggang 1996. Una sa mga ‘yun ay pinangunahan ni Dennis Espino nang walisin ng mga taga-Espana ang 14-game eliminations.

“RIP Coach Aric. We’ve gone thru many battles as deputies of Coach @manilacone. A true lifer. The (Philippine) coaching community has lost a great one,” tweet ni coach Chot Reyes.

Sina del Rosario at Reyes ang mga unang assistants ni coach Tim Cone noon sa PBA.

Nalungkot si Cone dahil hindi siya makakapagbigay ng huling respeto sa dating ayudante. Bawal maglalabas dahil sa COVID-19.

“I just heard of the passing of my former (he was my first) assistant coach, Aric Del Rosario. It is crushing news to me, especially at this time when I cannot pay my respects to him and his family,” ani Cone.

Nagsisimula pa lang si Cone ay malaking impluwensiya na sa kanya si coach Aric.

“He always kept me grounded and taught me so much about humility. The winning he accomplished at UST and the players he touched was unsurpassed,” dagdag ng Ginebra coach. “His humility and low-key personality prevented him from being in that conversation of the best coaches of the country – that was wrong; he was incredibly underrated and certainly should have been. He was truly a great coach and a better friend.” (VE)