LOOK who’s interested to return to the head-coaching position of University of Santo Tomas?
It’s no less than good, old Aric Del Rosario.
The man who led the Growling Tigers during their glory days in the nineties admitted he’s very much willing to become coach again of his alma mater if ever he will be approached by the UST hierarchy.
“Matagal ko ng gustong bumalik,” Del Rosario disclosed in an interview with Spin.ph on Friday.
The head-coaching job at the Espana-based learning institution was recently vacated after longtime mentor Pido Jarencio opted to fulfill his dream to handle a team in the PBA, ending an eight-season partnership with UST.
Del Rosario, however, made it clear he will only take the job if UST is interested.
“Kung lapitan ako, kung nagtitiwala pa rin sila sa akin, okay lang. Hindi ako mag-aapply. Gusto ko kunin nila ako. Siyempre kung mayroong trust sa iyo ‘yung eskwela, hindi mo na kailangang mag-apply,” Del Rosario said.
Del Rosario led the Tigers in a memorable championship ride in the 90s that saw the school win four straight UAAP men’s title from 1993 to 1996, including an unprecedented 14-0 sweep during the first year of the UST dynasty.
Del Rosario, who also led the Pampanga Dragons to the inaugural title of the defunct Metropolitan Basketball Association (MBA) in 1998 and won coached the Philippine team to a gold medal in the 2003 Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam, left the school in 2003.
After almost a decade-long hiatus, Del Rosario made a coaching return and is now currently handling the University of Perpetual Help Altas in the NCAA, with son Lester serving as one of his assistants.
Now 73, Del Rosario said he doesn’t even need to give up his post with the Altas if he is considered as UST coach.
“Ibang oras naman ‘yung practice, ibang araw ‘yung laro. Sa umaga ako sa Perpetual, sa hapon ako sa UST. Kung gusto mo talaga, magagawan mo ng paraan,” said Del Rosario.
Incidentally, Estong Ballesteros, who played under Del Rosario during his college days, is currently handling the Tigers in an interim capacity but has the backing of Jarencio to become his successor.
Del Rosario said he wants to help the Tigers since he believes the team is still a championship contender after reaching the Finals the last two seasons.
“Nakikita ko na sayang ‘yung pagkakataon kasi may pagasa pa mag-champion. Gusto kong tumulong. Nanghihinayang ako sa eskwela ko,” said Del Rosario.
Aside from Ballesteros, also being mentioned in the search for the next UST coach are former Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen and former UST star and PBA player Gerard Francisco.
Ironically, Tanquingcen, Francisco, and Ballesteros all played under Del Rosario during their days in the Espana-based school.