HE was unusually quiet, but University of Perpetual Help coach Aric del Rosario's message was loud and clear to his players on Saturday when the Altas outdueled the Letran Knights, 85-82, in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
The veteran mentor, who would air his displeasure over a questionable call or scold a ward after committing a head-scratching play every chance he gets, was mild mannered on Saturday.
The change in manner has something to do with his doctor’s advice after Del Rosario revealed his left eye bled internally, or what is medically termed as subconjunctival hemorrhage, following the Altas’ pulsating 75-77 loss to defending champion San Beda last Wednesday.
“Tahimik lang ako kasi bawal sa akin magalit eh,” the 74-year-old coach admitted. “Bawal sa akin sumigaw kasi nung kalaban ko San Beda, nag-bleeding `yung left eye ko sa galit.”
Del Rosario complained about a handful of dubious calls in the game against the Lions. But he took all the calls and his wards’ botched plays in stride in the match against the Knights three days later.
The well-loved mentor didn’t have to worry about his blood pressure shooting up as the Altas got back on the winning track behind Juneric Baloria, who fired a season-high 32 points, including eight in the final two minutes.
Altas assistant coach Lester del Rosario, son of the head coach, admitted his dad’s condition hindered his usual way of coaching in practice and in the game against the Knights.
“Medyo nakaapekto, pero okay na,” said the younger Del Rosario, who accompanied his dad for a checkup after the loss to San Beda. “Dapat huwag na sumigaw.”