Scottie Thompson says he wouldn’t have made it to PBA if not for coach Aric Del Rosario

Scottie Thompson was left devastated by the sudden passing of one of Philippine basketball’s most beloved figures, coach Aric del Rosario on Thursday.

Before he electrified the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel nation, Thompson honed his craft with the Perpetual Help Altas under Del Rosario’s watch.

In a lengthy post on Instagram, Thompson bared that his relationship with the deceased tactician exceeds the typical player-coach dynamic.

“Maraming maraming salamat sa lahat ng tinuro mo sakin sa lahat ng ginawa mo sa buhay ko. Ikaw isa sa dahilan kung saan ako ngayon at kung anong meron ako ngayon, hindi lang pala isa sa naging dahilan kundi ikaw naging dahilan!” The 26-year-old Davao-native wrote.

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Isa sa pinaka malungkot at nakakagulat na balita na natanggap ko buong buhay ko!😭💔 TATAY, PAPA , DADDY , LOLO , COACH AT MENTOR ARIC. Maraming maraming salamat sa lahat ng tinuro mo sakin sa lahat ng ginawa mo sa buhay ko. Ikaw isa sa dahilan kung saan ako ngayon at kung anong meron ako ngayon, hindi lang pala isa sa naging dahilan kundi ikaw naging dahilan! Hanggang sa PBA dala dala ko padin ang laging mong sinasabi mo samin. Magsipag ka lang, maglaro ng maayos magpakabait at laging madasalin may papupuntahan ka bata at higit sa lahat tanggapin anong meron ka ngayon. Kung gusto mo ng higit? Pagtrabahuan mo! Dahil sa mga linyang yan andito ako ngayon. Ang pinaka d ko makakalimutan na laging mong tanong sa mga player mo na galing probinsya ay yung may pera kpa ba? Laging sinasagot ng player wala na po coach sarili mong pera na galing sa bulsa mo yung binibigay mo sakanila. Yung tipong pinaparamdam mo hndi lang basta coach pinaramdam mo din samin na parang tatay ka namin kasi alam mo malalayo kamibsa pamilya namin. Coach A. Simula nung nakilala kita naging coach kita lahat ng pananaw ko sa buhay nag-iba. Lahat ng mga duda ko sa sarili ko kung kakayanin ko ba o hndi nag-iba. Lahat ng pagsubok na dumaan sa buhay ko hanggang ngayon hindi na ako nagduda sa sarili ko. Kasi tinuruan mo akong maging palaban at kayanin lahat. Sa lahat ng mga mura at suntok mo saaming mga player mo ramdam namin kung gaano mo kami gusto e push pa sa kakayanan namin. Haaayyyys😭💔 Ang mas nakakalungkot pa lalo is yung panu ka po kaya namin madalaw dahil sa mga nangyayari ngayon. Panu po kaya namin madamayan ang pamilya mo coach☹️ i pray na sana makagawa kami ng paraan para makasama ka namin coach at ang pamily mo. Again thank you for everything coach Aric!! You will be missed! And you will be always in our hearts! We Love you coach!!

A post shared by Scottie Thompson (@scot_thompson6) on

Del Rosario, who passed away due to cardiac arrest at 80 years old, was best known for leading the University of Santo Tomas to four straight UAAP championships from 1993 to 1996. The legendary tactician was also at the forefront when UST completed a 14-0 sweep of the eliminations in 1993.

He also took his talents to the big leagues, serving as an assistant coach to the Alaska Aces and Talk N’ Text Phone Pals.

Thompson, meanwhile, also remembered his late mentor as an incredible person who truly cared for his players’ well-being both on and off the court.

“Ang hindi ko pinakamakakalimutan na laging mong tanong sa mga players mo na galing probinsya ay yung may pera ka pa ba? Laging sinasagot ng players, ‘Wala na po, coach.’ Sarili mong pera na galing sa bulsa mo yung binibigay mo sa kanila. Yung tipong pinaparamdam mo na hindi lang basta coach, pinaramdam mo din sa amin na parang tatay ka namin kasi alam mo na malalayo kami sa pamilya namin,” Thompson shared.

Del Rosario returned to coaching collegiate basketball in 2012, assuming the reins for the UPHSD until 2015.

Under his tutelage, Thompson blossomed into an all-around star for the Altas and won numerous individual accolades, despite being unable to win a title.

UPHSD reached the Final Four thrice during that stretch, as Thompson won the Most Improved Player award in 2012 and the MVP plum two years later in 2014.

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