Farewell, Coach Aric
RIP Coach Januario “Aric” Del Rosario, who gifted the University of Santo Tomas with several UAAP titles (1993-96 four-peat) during the 1990s.
The legendary coach, among the best in local college basketball history (in the same class as Virgilio “Baby” Baby Dalupan at the University of the East) succumbed to cardiac arrest late last night (March 25) at age 80.
I always found time to strike a conversation with Aric whenever he watched the basketball games of the Philippine Ching Yuen Athletic Association (PCYAA) at the Uno High School gym.Aric was there because his three sons, including head coach Lester, are members of the Philippine Cultural College coaching staff.
Often we talked about how his then-Golden (now Growling) Tigers would beat my alma mater De La Salle during the UAAP finals and send me into tears.
I often mentioned to Aric the dagger threes by Henry Ong and the bulldozing inside plays of big men Dennis Espino, Chris Cantonjos, Rey Evangelista, Edmund Reyes and Estong Ballesteros that broke the hearts of King Green Archer Mark Telan and heady guard Jason Webb, both of whom completed their UAAP eligibility without a title ring.
I also told him that I personally witnessed the championship game of the maiden season of the now-defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association in 1998 (October 31) between his Pampanga Dragons (powered by Renato “Ato” Augustin) and the Negros Slashers led by John Ferriols) at the Mimosa Complex in Pampanga.
Aric piloted the Dragons to the MBA crown that year before joining the coaching ranks of several teams in the Philippine Basketball Association.
Very amiable and animated Aric was. At his ripe age, he still remembered about the various topics that I had opened up regarding his coaching accomplishments.
I will sorely miss Aric at the PCYAA games.
Condolence to the family at these turbulent times.
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