Lester Del Rosario pointed his finger above moments after Pioneer finally achieved glory in the PBA 3×3 by ruling the Second Conference, Wednesday.
“Para sa kanya,” he said.
The seasoned mentor was referring to his late father Aric, whom he dedicated what he considers as the biggest triumph of his coaching career.
“Dapat andito siya e,” he said as he began to break down into tears, trying his best to keep composed until he could no longer contain his emotions.
It was only natural for the younger Del Rosario to remember the legendary coach, who passed away back in 2020 during the height of the pandemic.
‘Tatay Aric,’ as he’s fondly called, steered University of Santo Tomas to a UAAP men’s cage four-peat during the 90s, highlighted by a rare sweep in 1993.
And, yes, Lester was part of that celebrated Tigers crew, which also featured Bal David, Rey Evangelista, and Dennis Espino, to name some.
When his playing career was over, he eventually ventured into coaching courtesy of his father, beginning with UST in the early 00s.
That enabled him to earn gigs in other leagues, including the PBA 3×3 when he was tasked to handle the adhesive giant’s team made up of gutsy cagers.
Pioneer never won a single leg title since the halfcourt competitions began in November, but now they’re the champion of champions.
“Effort lang talaga,” said the animated coach.
Then again, wherever he goes, and whatever he accomplishes, Del Rosario will always have with him the memory of his father.
“Ito na siguro ‘yung biggest achievement para sa father ko,” he said.
“Para sa kanya.”