MANILA, Philippines—Tim Cone is regarded as one of the greatest coaches in Philippine history, but there was one more person who helped him such notoriety—his mentor Aric del Rosario.
The two were partners in leading Alaska to become one of the league’s franchises with Cone heading the troupe while del Rosario was his older and more experienced assistant.
Such was the bond that the two formed that Cone was devastated when he learned of the death of del Rosario.
“I’m broken up because of the loss of coach Aric, I am sorry I can’t pay my respects to him and his family,” wrote Cone, who now coaches Barangay Ginebra, on Twitter Thursday. “He was such an influence early in my coaching career, teaching me about humility and compassion.”
Del Rosario was 80.
“He touched so many lives [throughout] his journey. He will be terribly missed.”
Cone may have been the head coach but del Rosario was the wiser and older tactician serving as a teacher to the now 22-time champion and the duo led Alaska to its first title in 1991, just two years from when they started.
Del Rosario was still with the team when Cone fully became his own man when the Aces captured the 1996 Grand Slam.
“It is crushing news to me, especially this time when I cannot pay respects to him and his family,” said Cone, as per PBA.ph, since Luzon is under enhanced community quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“He was such a steadying influence on me when I was a young coach.”
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