ALLAN Caidic had an illustrious basketball career, and he has Virgilio 'Baby' Dalupan to thank for that.
After the 'Final Buzzer' tribute to Dalupan on Sunday, Caidic recalled trying out for the University of the East where the legendary coach was athletic director.
"Nung magta-tryout ako sa UE, he was athletic director tapos he's coaching Crispa. Nag-step in siya sa practice tapos syempre pinakita namin best namin para ma-impress siya at coaches," said Caidic, who tried out for Ateneo, Mapua, and Letran but didn't make the cut for 'various reasons.'
"After the practice, he left. I found out later na ini-instruct niya yung coach na 'Kunin mo yang kaliwete na yan. Mapapakinabangan.' That's the exact words na sinabi nya," he added.
Dalupan continued to guide the lefty in the PBA. In the process, Caidic became arguably the greatest shootiers in the history of the first play-for-pay league in Asia.
Caidic said he owed much of his success as a basketball player to his former mentor.
"Imagine that, kung hindi sya dumating nung time na yun, who knows baka hindi ako nakuha sa UE? Nag-try out ako sa three colleges bago mag-UE," he said.
"I take that as malaking utang na loob sa kanya. Siya ang nagbigay ng way for me, siya ang nag-guide sa akin sa PBA," he added.
As for the best lesson he learned from Dalupan, Caidic said it was discipline, an approach he also applies now as a coach.
"He's really a disciplinarian. Yun yung na-instill niya sa akin. Nung natakot kami sa kanya, nagkaroon kami ng disiplina sa sarili to follow him," said Caidic, who was assistant coach for Ginebra and La Salle before becoming a consultant for the San Miguel group.
"Ngayon ko lang na-realize yan nung nag-coach ako. Tama pala si coach Baby sa amin," he added.