ADAMSON mourned the passing of former basketball coach Hector Hipolito on Sunday.
The veteran coach passed away Saturday (U.S. time) in Las Vegas, where he and his family had been based since the mid-90s.
He was 74.
Hipolito served as coaches of both the junior and later, senior teams of the school. He was an assistant to Orly Bauzon the last time the Falcons made it to the UAAP men’s basketball finals in 1992 when they were swept by Johnny Abarrientos and the Far Eastern University Tamaraws.
In 1993, he assumed the head coaching job of Adamson built around a powerhouse team composed of Kenneth Duremdes, EJ Feihl, Giovanni Pineda, Segundo ‘Bong’ dela Cruz, and his son Gerardo Hipolito.
Unfortunately, the Falcons were ran over by a University of Santo Tomas team that was ripe for a championship. With Dennis Espino and Udoy Belmonte showing the way, the Tigers beat the Falcons in the final game of the eliminations before a roaring crowd of 23,000 at the Araneta Coliseum to complete a historic 14-game sweep and win their first championship in 24 years.
Curiously, Hipolito and UST coach Aric del Rosario were teammates of the last Santo Tomas squad to capture the UAAP crown before the 93 champion team came along.
Charlie Dy, the former junior champion coach of Adamson and now a popular players’ agent, was among the first to condole with the family of his late mentor.
“I will forever be grateful, for without you, I wouldn’t be where I am now,” Dy posted on his Instagram account. “You taught me so much in life, and you’ve been a second father to me since the day we met and accepted me to be your assistant coach.”
Dy related to SPIN.ph his former mentor called him in July this year.
"Feeling ko nagpaalam na siya coz after a few days (na tumawag siya), he got very ill," said Dy, who would steer the Baby Falcons to numerous championships during his time. "That's why I'm very saddened by his passing."
Dy said Hipolito has been very updated about him even now that he has trekked a new career path as a players' agent.
"Kapag binibisita ko siya, lagi niya akong kinukwentuhan ng mga nababasa niya, and he gives me adivces all the time," added Dy. "He will always be in my heart forever."