'Fiery, passionate': Chot Reyes remembers late Aric del Rosario
MANILA, Philippines – Former Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes feels grateful he had a chance to learn from the late Aric del Rosario.
The champion UAAP mentor, who passed away on Thursday, March 26, worked with Reyes when they were both part of the coaching staff of Tim Cone in the Alaska Aces and the national team.
Reyes shared that aside from training with the team together, they were roommates during out-of-town games.
"He was fiery, passionate, emotional – quick to tears. Aric was one of the most authentic coaches you’d find in the business," Reyes told Rappler in a text message.
"And our basketball conversations would always center around his players, whom he always considered his children."
The two assistant coaches were also part of the Philippine Centennial team coaching staff that became the first national basketball team to travel to the US for training.
Reyes recalled that Del Rosario – who steered the UST Growling Tigers to 4 straight UAAP championships in the '90s – was always generous and thoughtful to his close friends and family.
"Always. He would make sure to buy pasalubong for his family," shared Reyes.
With Tim Cone at the helm, the Philippines won the 1998 Asian Games bronze medal and the country has not replicated the feat since then.
Del Rosario's champion values had a big impact on the whole team – both the players and the coaches – and they also eventually influenced Reyes in his coaching career.
"By reminding us about good old fashioned values. Aric was as old school as you could get," said Reyes. – Rappler.com