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Legendary coach Aric Del Rosario passes away

Aric Del Rosario left a lasting legacy in Philippine basketball. MPBL (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The Philippine basketball community mourns the passing of legendary coach Aric Del Rosario.

Del Rosario, one of the most successful coaches in Philippine basketball during the 90's, passed away at age 80 reportedly due to heart attack pending an announcement from his family.

He became more well known for steering UST to a four-peat in the UAAP men's basketball tournament from 1993-1996.

He led the Growling Tigers, where he also played for during the 60's, when they were still known as the Glowing Goldies, to a full sweep of the 1993 season, the last time it happened in UAAP men's basketball before the Ateneo Blue Eagles completed a shutout of their own last year.

He then steered the Pampanga Dragons to the inaugural MBA national title in 1998, only needing five games to take down the Negros Slashers.

After a three-year stint as the commissioner of the NCAA from 2009-2011, Del Rosario accepted the job as head coach of Perpetual Help, leading the team, which had a young Scottie Thompson then, to three Final Four appearances.

His last "Aric Magic" came in 2018 when he coached Paranaque in the inaugural MPBL season, leading the team to the national semifinals despite being the seventh seed entering the playoffs.

He also gave glory to the Philippine team in the Southeast Asian Games, winning the gold in the 2003 men's basketball tournament.

He also had stints as assistant coach with Alaska, helping the squad win the 1996 grand slam, and TNT.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno_