One of the reasons why I wanted to study in UST is because of their great basketball program.
No, I am not a basketball player.
I don’t even like stepping inside a basketball court.
I do like one-week celebrations though.
As my cousin once pointed out, every time the UST Growling Tigers win a title, everything stops.
Sure, we can enumerate all the awesome UST players of the 90s. Inasmuch as I am a fan of the original titlists like Dennis Espino, Bal David, Edmund Reyes, Udoy Belmonte, and Patrick Fran, I found the next title batch of Christopher Cantonjos, Dale Singson, Gerard Francisco, Estong Ballesteros, and Henry Ong a bit more awesome.
There was a time when Aric del Rosario had all the titles. Aside from his success in UST, he was part of the 1996 Alaska grand slam squad as Tim Cone’s chief deputy and is the inaugural MBA champion coach as part of the Pampanga Dragons. In some ways, I kind of rooted for these teams (huge Alaska fan in the 90s) because of Coach Aric.
When I studied in UST, I unfortunately never had the chance to experience a one-week celebration. I blame Renren Ritualo, Don Allado, and Dino Aldeguer’s pakshet clutch bomb. Tears came out of my eyes!!! With that said, I guess the thing I hated about my whole Aric del Rosario experience is when he stepped down in lieu of Nel Parado. No offense to the latter but… if my reason to choose UST over a bunch of U-Belt schools is their basketball program, then I won’t have chosen UST in the first place. Whenever I see him at the UST Gym back then, it was like… awesome. I mean… the dude had an aura of awesomeness... especially if you're a nerd in the late 90s and early 2000s looking at him as if he's the most important thing in UST basketball.
The passing of Aric del Rosario is a UST legend. Aric bled gold as a student-athlete as well as a coaching icon.
Moreover, he is a basketball legend.
Viva Santo Tomas.