There would be no Scottie Thompson without Aric Del Rosario.
So when the 26-year-old native of Padada, Davao del Sur learned of the passing of his second father, he went to social media to express his grief.
“Isa sa pinaka malungkot at nakakagulat na balita na natanggap ko buong buhay ko.”
Back in 2012, Del Rosario and Thompson began their partnership after the former replaced Jimwell Gican.
The tandem proved to be magical.
Thanks to Del Rosario’s system, the 6-foot-1 dynamo was named MVP of the NCAA Season 90 Seniors Basketball tournament with norms of 26.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per game.
“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,” Thompson’s emotional post continued.
“Ikaw isa sa dahilan kung saan ako ngayon at kung anong meron ako ngayon.”
The Altas made it to the Final Four during the first three years of their partnership.
In Season 91 — Thompson’s final year — he shone bright, dropping triple-doubles on almost a nightly basis. However, the stacked field proved to be too much for the Altas, who finished in sixth place even with a mighty 11-7 record.
Thompson then went on to be drafted as the fifth overall pick in the 2015 PBA Draft.
“Hindi lang pala isa sa naging dahilan kung hindi ikaw naging dahilan! Hanggang sa PBA dala dala ko pa rin ang laging mong sinasabi mo samin.”
Thompson disclosed that one of the many things Del Rosario taught him was to hold on to his faith.
“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,” shared Thompson.
Besides being a coach, Del Rosario was a caring father to Thompson and the Altas. He even provided allowances to his student-athletes out of his own pocket.
“Ang pinaka hindi ko makakalimutan na laging mong tanong sa mga player mo na galing probinsya ay yung may pera ka pa 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 kami sa pamilya namin,” Thompson narrated.
It wasn’t just Thompson’s game that changed because of Tatay Aric — it was also his perspective in life.
“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,” he continued.
What pains Thompson right now, though, is that he cannot grieve with Del Rosario’s family as the country is under enhanced community quarantine.
All he could do right now is pray — pray like he has never done before.
“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 pamilya mo.”
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