NCAA Season 94: Rolly, you will be missed

Mark Escarlote on Sep 27, 2018 07:43 PM
NCAA Season 94: Rolly, you will be missed
Legendary collegiate basketball barker Rolly Manlapaz left a legacy that will always be remembered by players, coaches and fans.

NCAA coaches and stars were one in saying that the passing of Rolly Manlapaz, considered as the voice of the college basketball, was a great loss in the tight-knit community.

The former disk jockey and longtime UAAP and NCAA basketball barker, who also saw stints in volleyball games passed away Thursday after a bout with ALS. He was 58.

“I just love the way he calls games,” said Lyceum of the Philippines head coach Topex Robinson. “Sometimes he makes it look like spooky by that sound but then again basketball will never be the same without that voice.”

Manlapaz’s last stint with the NCAA was two years ago in Season 92 and called his last game four months ago in UAAP Season 80 women's volleyball Finals. His career spanned for two decades. 

“I’m sure he will be remembered not only by the NCAA but by the whole basketball community,” he added.

The voice that defined college and amateur basketball in this generation made even the most boring or one-sided game lively with his jewel of a voice and antics why calling out plays. Manlapaz can make an exciting game even more colorful, adding a different flavor and flare that only the stadium legend can deliver.

Manlapaz also endeared himself with players and coaches by calling out their full name instead of their nicknames.

“Sayang mami-miss namin ang mga sigaw niya dito sa Arena especially when he calls me Teodorico not Boyet. We’re gonna miss them,” said San Beda coach Boyet Fernandez.

But Manlapaz’s greatest contribution in the game was his knack of baptizing players with lasting monikers.

One of the cagers that got that honor was reigning NCAA Most Valuable Player CJ Perez. 

Manlapaz gave Perez the moniker ‘Baby Beast’ when he was still playing for San Sebastian College’s high school team. Perez got the moniker for showing the same aggressiveness and tenacity of former Stag and now PBA star Calvin Abueva while wearing the same No. 7 jersey. 

“Kay Sir Rolly nanggaling yung ‘Baby Beast’ na yun, noong FilOil pa lang ata yun,” Perez said. “It’s an honor na naging part siya ng mga league dito. Sobrang happy kami na nabibigyan kami ng moniker dahil sa kanya. Lumalabas ang pangalan namin dahil sa kanya.”

San Beda’s Robert Bolick also shared his feelings on the passing of a friend.

“Nagulat nga ako na ganyan ang nangyari akala ko naging OK na siya,” he said. “Nakaka-miss ‘yun kasi nakakagana maglaro ‘yun eh.”

“Kaya ngayon ayoko na magganun-ganun (na layup). Dati kapag gumaganun ako siya kaagad yung, “Oh dipsy doo!” Ngayon medyo di na siya ganoon kasaya, nawawala ang saya,” he added.

Manlapaz according to Bolick made any player perform better with his adrenaline-pumping calls.

“Kahit sa UAAP ganoon ‘yan eh. ‘Pag tinawag nya ang pangalan mo parang feeling mo nasa NBA ka eh,” he said. “Maganda ang feeling kapag pumasok ka sa court. Nakakapagpaganda ng laro. Barker yun ang trabaho niya.”

Bolick also remembered all the fun moments he had with Manlapaz.

“Kahit noong La Salle pa ako kahit nasa bench lang ako tinatawag pa rin nya ako. Di ko nga alam eh (kung bakit ako tinatawag),” joked Bolick, drawing laughter from reporters. “Talagang may pinagsamahan din kaming dalawa. May koneksyon din kami.”

“Nu’ng sa La Salle noong nag-championship kami sa UST, kapag nagwa-warmup kami ako pa rin tinatawag niya. Di ko nga alam, di naman ako naglalaro,” he continued. “Nahihiya tuloy akong mag-warmup.”

“Nakaka-miss talaga yun and hopefully nasa magandang lugar na siya.”

Manlapaz's remains will be at Loyola Memorial Park Marikina Diamond 2 Chapel starting Sept. 28, Friday. There will be a mass at 11 a.m. and his body will be cremated on Tuesday, Oct. 2.



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