Aric Del Rosario: Still the same intense coach

Tricia Robredo on Jun 05, 2015 08:41 AM
Aric Del Rosario: Still the same intense coach
"Lagi ako tinatanong kung bakit di pa ako humihinto. Nag-aalala raw sila sa health ko." --- Aric Del Rosario

In my experience as a fan and later on as a courtside reporter, my emotions were always heightened during games, especially when I was rooting for one of the teams that were playing. Every shot made, every bad call, every win, every loss – you would have most likely seen me getting angry, rejoicing and crying in the sidelines. I don’t know if it’s a (fan) girl thing or a natural reaction for those who have grown to become invested. But then if we’re talking about investment, I’m sure there are others a lot more invested than I am: the alumni, the players, the coaches. At kung parang aatakihin ako sa puso, paano pa kaya sila, diba?

This is exactly what worries the family of Aric Del Rosario, who at 75 years old still coaches the UPHSD Atlas. “Lagi ako tinatanong kung bakit di pa ako humihinto. Nag-aalala raw sila sa health ko,” he shared. And when you see Coach Aric in his element, you would understand that the concern is very valid. If you think that aging has rusted, slowed and calmed him down, well, you’re kind of wrong. He. Is. Still. Intense.

I think “walang kupas” is what you call it. And with how he narrated his routine, the description seems pretty accurate. Every day he wakes up at around 3:30 or 4:00 in the morning, leaves for practice, spends the rest of the time in training and comes home from basketball late. (Another appropriate description would probably be “ball is life”.) He does admit to feeling tired and weary, but says that at least he is kept happy and active.

Del Rosario has been coaching for more than thirty years. He is best known for bringing four straight UAAP titles to España with the Growling Tigers starting in ’93. (I wasn’t even born yet!) He then took on the PBA as assistant coach of the Alaska Aces and Talk N’ Text Phone Pals. After which, he was taken in as a coach in the Metropolitan Basketball Association, the Philippine Basketball League and the 2003 RP Men’s Team in the Southeast Asian Games.

A few years down the road, the legendary Aric Del Rosario was appointed as NCAA Commissioner. But three seasons later, he was once more called back to duty to mentor the then-struggling UPHSD Atlas. Asked why he still accepted the job instead of enjoying retirement, he explains how much he appreciated and valued the trust. “Lima ata kaming pinapagpilian noon. Pero isipin mo, out of the five, pinagkatiwalaan pa rin nila itong matanda. Ayaw ko masira yung tiwalang ‘yun.” However, behind it all lies the deeper reason as to why he keeps on coming back: love for teaching and love for the game. “Mas sasama pa ang loob ko kung nasa bench lang ako. Nasa court ang puso ko.”

The Atlas have been consistently in the Final Four of the NCAA since the Del Rosario era. And we can expect to see Coach Aric’s antics a little longer, probably until he gets UPHSD a crown of their own.

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