Legendary collegiate coach Aric Del Rosario dies

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 26) – Aric Del Rosario, who is the architect of the four-peat title conquest of University of Santo Tomas in the UAAP seniors men’s basketball wars in the 90s, died Thursday due to cardiac arrest.

UST posted on its Facebook page the announcement of Del Rosario’s passing.

As of this writing, the Del Rosario family has not issued a statement on the passing of their 80-year old patriarch.

Del Rosario, who hails from Candaba, Pampanga, first made a mark in the Philippine basketball scene when he played for UST in the 60s.

But it was his coaching career that made him a renowned and well-loved figure in the court.

Del Rosario returned to his alma mater as the head coach of its seniors men’s basketball team from 1992 to 2004.

He steered UST to a four-peat title romp from 1993 to 1996. His 1993 champion team even went on to a 14-0 sweep of the season, ending a 29-year title drought.

Del Rosario honed his coaching expertise in his home province, when he mentored the Pampanga Dragons in the now-defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association. He also led the Dragons to the league’s inaugural championship in 1998.

Tatay Aric, as he is fondly called in basketball circles, made the country proud in 2003 after leading the gold medal finish of the Philippines in the 22nd Southeast Asian Games at Vietnam.

Del Rosario returned to the collegiate basketball scene in 2009 when he served as commissioner of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, a post he held until 2011.

University of Perpetual Help DALTA tapped Del Rosario to coach the Altas from 2012 to 2015, leading the team to three Final Four appearances.

In the pros, Tatay Aric became an assistant coach in the PBA with Alaska and Talk N’ Text. His last head coaching stint was in 2018 in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League, leading the Paranaque Patriots.

Del Rosario is survived by his two sons, Edsel and Lester, and his grandchildren.