Milestone

The Magic of coach Aric

September 09, 2017

Literally everyone in UST loves coach Aric del Rosario.

Why?

Four-peat, baby.

As the architect of the UST dynasty during the mid 1990s, "Aric Magic" resulted in four straight UAAP championships for the Growling Tigers. UST didn't win four games last season and it might not win four games this year.

But coach Aric? He delivered four championships to Espana. And all of them came in succession.

But what is "Aric Magic" anyway? How did it manage to help UST stop a powerful Adamson team and how did it delay an impeding La Salle dynasty by establishing a dynasty of its own? ABS-CBN Sports turns to the legend himself.

"Ako kasi, ako yung tao na madasalin eh. Kasi nung UAAP, yung camera binabantayan yung kamay ko kasi lagi akong nakadukot sa kaliwang [bulsa] kasi may rosary ako," del Rosario said Saturday during the opening of UAAP Season 80.

"Yun ang magic ko yung dasal. Yun ang hinihingi ko na magic sa Panginoon, na tulungan ako," he added.

Winning a championship in the UAAP is difficult. However, after winning four of them in his legendary stint as a head coach in the league, del Rosario has learned one thing.

And that one thing is you never think about the title until you actually win it.

"Alam mo yung sinasabi na magiging champion, hindi ine-expect yan. Makikita mo lang yan pag nananalo ka na, dun mo makikita yung team mo, nabubuo na, nagkaka-intindihan na," he said as he started to explain how he won four straight championships.

"Yung panalo, dapat hindi nilalagay sa ulo. Kasi pag nilagay mo diyan, tapos ka na. Kasi ako, yung champion ko balewala. Nakaraos na yung back-to-back [titles], ang ihahanda ko yung susunod na season na. Hindi ko ine-expect na magcha-champion pero ihahanda ko. Nung nag-three peat ako, walang four-peat [sa utak ko], ihahanda ko lang [ang susunod]. Wag lalagay sa ulo mo yung panalo," del Rosario said.

Despite coaching four champion teams and many more squads that made the Final Four, the one that stands out the most for coach Aric is the 1993 crew that started the UST dynasty.

That team swept the season, winning all 14 games, on their way to an automatic championship. The following year, the current Final Four format was installed.

"Natuwa ako yung 15 [players] na yun sa 14-0. Isa lang ang hindi na-draft, lahat yun na-draft sa PBA at tumagal sa PBA," coach Aric said.

"Kasi nga yung ugali nila, kasi ako, pag nagco-coach ako, hindi lang basketball ang tinuturo ko, pati yung disiplina at pakikipag kapwa tao mo. Kung paano ka sumunod sa magulang mo, hindi lang basketball. Yung 14-0 na yun, lahat yun maganda takbo ng buhay nila ngayon," he added.

Dennis Espino, Patrick Fran, Siot Tangquincen, Bal David, Rey Evangelista, Edmund Reyes, Chris Cantonjos, Dale Singson, Richard Yee, and Gerard Francisco are some of the players from that team that all had productive pro careers.

Following UST's four-peat in the 1990s, the Growling Tigers would only win one title since.

After that championship, which came in 2006, UST would make three Finals only to lose all of them.

In order to finally capture that elusive 19th basketball title, coach Aric says that the solution is pretty simple.

"Ang susi run, kailangan mayroong maging leader dun, tapos alisin yung mga pakialamero. Kasi pagka ang isang coach pinakaelaman mo, walang mangyayari," he said.

"Kasi nung kinuha ako ng UST, sabi ko kay Father 'Father tatanggapin ko yung kuha niyo sakin, bigyan niyo ako ng three years. After three years hindi ko napa-champion automatic tanggalin niyo ako' yung ganun. Hindi yung pakekealaman mo yung coach kasi magi-iba yun, mawawala ang diskarte. Bayaan mo siya, kinuha mo eh," del Rosario added.


---

Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8