Aric Del Rosario of University of Perpetual Help addresses questions from the media during the NCAA Season 90 press conference at the SM MOA Arena. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – Legendary head coach Aric Del Rosario, the architect of the brilliant University of Santo Tomas (UST) teams in the early 1990s, preached patience to school officials when it comes to expecting championships from their basketball teams.
Del Rosario is now the head coach of the University of Perpetual Help Altas in the NCAA, who have made the Final Four in the past two seasons, but lost to eventual champions San Beda both times.
Told during the NCAA press conference last Monday that Perpetual has yet to win a men's basketball championship, Del Rosario said it takes time to build a champion squad.
"Ang champion, dumadating 'yan. Hindi bigla-bigla na makukuha yan," said the 73-year-old Del Rosario.
"Ang ano ko sa mga eskwela, huwag kayong mainip sa mga coach niyo," he added. "Minsan, isang talo lang ng coach, nagpapalit na. Kasi, matagal na proseso 'yan bago makuha 'yung team."
"Pagka-lumaki na 'yun, okay na, kumpleto na 'yung line-up ng lahat ang mapapakinabangan mo na ang lahat, ayun na ang champion," he added. "Pero hindi basta-basta, hindi bigla 'yan. Kailangan pagtiyagaan mo 'yan."
Del Rosario, who coached UST to four straight UAAP titles from 1993 until 1996, hopes to bring that winning touch to Perpetual, even though they are in for a tough tournament in Season 90.
"Ang team ko, wala na akong import," Del Rosario revealed. "Tapos nag-alis pa ako ng player, kasi sabi ng president namin, ayaw niya ng player na hindi naga-aral."
"Yung hindi naga-aral, inalis ko kasi kahit noong nasa UST ako, ganoon din ang ginagawa ko. Hindi naman pwede na puro laro eh," he added.
The goal for Perpetual is to reach the Final Four again, and hopefully to advance further this time.
"Pagka-Final Four, iba na ang usapan," said Del Rosario.
Perpetual Help opens their season on June 30 at the San Juan Arena against the Mapua Cardinals.