MANILA, Philippines – Former University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers head coach Aric del Rosario passed away Thursday morning, March 26.
He was 80.
The Philippine basketball legend, who led the España-based squad to 4 straight championships in the 1990s, succumbed to cardiac arrest. He was pronounced dead on arrival, according to family members.
Del Rosario was at the helm when UST dominated collegiate basketball, steering the Tigers to a 14-0 elimination round sweep in 1993 to capture the UAAP championship outright.
The Tigers, led by Chris Cantonjos, Bal David and Dennis Espino, would then cruise to a four-peat title romp until 1996.
Del Rosario also served as head coach of Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA) team Pampanga Dragons and led them to the inaugural league championship in 1998.
He also became the assistant coach of PBA teams Alaska Aces and Talk ‘N Text.
In 2003, Del Rosario was appointed head coach of the national team and steered the Philippines to the 12th Southeast Asian Games gold medal.
The decorated mentor then served as NCAA commissioner from 2009 to 2011 before returning to the sidelines as head coach of the University of Perpetual Help Altas.
Though he failed to cop a title with the team, Del Rosario led the Altas to 3 Final Four appearances.
Del Rosario closed out his coaching career as head coach of MPBL team Parañaque Patriots in 2018. – with reports from Delfin Dioquino/Rappler.com