Former PBA player Romy dela Rosa's words of wisdom for son Rome: 'Sa depensa, walang malas' 
Former Shell and Sta. Lucia gunner Romy dela Rosa has been based in the US since retiring in 2002. Jerome Ascano

BEING away from each other prevented former PBA player Romy Dela Rosa from having a bigger hand on son Rome Dela Rosa’s playing career as much as he wanted to.

Yet, it was not too late to give the Alaska rookie some words of wisdom.

“Importante din ‘yung may scoring pero kasi sa depensa, walang malas,” the former Shell and Sta. Lucia gunner said when recently caught up with the balikbayan cager.

“Ako naman kasi, depensa lang din ako, nag-aral na lang ako ng shooting at low post. Para makatulong sa team, maski two points lang, nandoon ‘yung depensa. ‘Yung ang sinasabi ko sa kanya na ang depensa, importante.”

The 49-year-old Dela Rosa came home to attend the wedding of Rome, the no-nonsense guard out of San Beda who played a major role in the Red Lions string of NCAA championships.

The homecoming was the first for the former Shell player in more than a decade as he is now based in San Diego, California, where Romy admitted he’s now eligible for retirement in a firm related to the medical field.

“Na-kumpleto ko na ‘yung 10 years na sinasabi na maski nag-retire ka na, may pension ka na,” said Dela Rosa, who recently watched the PBA Philippine Cup playoff game between Alaska and Meralco.

During the two teams’ pre-game warm-up at the Astrodome, Dela Rosa gamely chatted with Meralco players Reynel Hugnatan and John Ferriols, with whom he played with during his stint with the Negros Slashers in the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA).

He later reached out to ex-Shell teammate Ronnie Magsanoc, now an assistant coach at Meralco, before gamely posing for a picture with Bolts head coach Norman Black.

“Ngayon lang (uli ako nakapanood) kasi may full-time na trabaho ako. Masaya na nagkita-kita kami. Si Ronnie nga, tuwang-tuwa,” said an obviously thrilled Dela Rosa.

Aside from Shell, Dela Rosa also saw action for Sta. Lucia before transferring to the MBA until it folded up in 2002.

Shortly after, he called it a career and moved to the US.

Dela Rosa said he is happy that his former contemporaries in the MBA such as Hugnatan, Ferriols, and even Rome’s Alaska teammate Dondon Hontiveros, are still active in the pro league.

“Nasa sayo naman ‘yan eh. Ang basketball, walang tanda tanda. Nasa pagkukundisyon lang ‘yan,” said Dela Rosa, who’s still very much in shape.

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