MANILA – Aric Del Rosario, the architect of the University of Santo Tomas’ dominance in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s basketball tournament during the ’90s, passed away at the age of 80.
The Del Rosario family has yet to release a statement as of posting regarding its patriarch’s death, although multiple media reports said that he succumbed to a heart attack.
With Del Rosario, who played and even won a championship for the then Glowing Goldies in 1964, at the helm, the Growling Tigers won four straight UAAP titles from 1993, the year they swept the entire season, to 1996.
Two years later, he would win his one and only professional basketball title as head coach, the 1998 Metropolitan Basketball Association championship for the Pampanga Dragons.
He also had stints as a member of Alaska and Talk ‘N Text’s coaching staff.
He was actually part of the Aces’ team that completed the grand slam of the 1996 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) season.
After serving three years as the commissioner of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Del Rosario made a return to head coaching in 2012, steering Perpetual Help to three Final Four appearances in the said league while molding a young Scottie Thompson into the PBA star that he has become.
Del Rosario last coached for the Parañaque Patriots in the inaugural Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League season in 2018, leading them to the national semifinals despite being only the seventh seeds in the playoffs.
They even took Game 1 of that semifinal series against the Muntinlupa Cagers, but the Cagers took the next two games to clinch a spot in the national finals.
Del Rosario also served as the commissioner for the FilOil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup, the highly-anticipated summer league for the collegiate squads before they plunge into action in their mother leagues. (PNA)